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NRA could lose its tax-exempt status amid allegations of ‘misuse of assets’: report

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On Wednesday, The New Yorker published a searing, in-depth exposé of the National Rifle Association, revealing that the organization is plagued with serious financial misdealings. Former IRS official Marc Owens called the allegations “one of the broadest arrays of likely transgressions that I’ve ever seen,” riddled with “misuse of assets,” and noted that “Those facts, if confirmed, could lead to the revocation of the NRA.’s tax-exempt status.”

Many of the allegations stem from the NRA’s longtime relationship with Ackerman McQueen, an Oklahoma-based advertising agency that devised their NRATV streaming service, a magazine showcasing the NRA’s donors, and an insurance policy for gun owners known as Carry Guard, which has since been discontinued.

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Memos from internal audits reveal that the NRA has been paying exorbitant amounts to Ackerman for its services, above and beyond what they are worth, and that many of the deals appear to be riddled with conflicts of interest, as former Ackerman officials recruited by the NRA promoted vendor deals for their personal enrichment.

Many of these payments have been unknown to the IRS for years, because the NRA has exploited loose reporting requirements to omit millions of dollars in payments to Ackerman’s affiliates.

Ackerman public relations executive Bill Powers broadly denies the allegations, likening the New Yorker article to “an old Soviet disinformation campaign,” but acknowledging the article contained “a little bit of truth.”

All of these problems appear to be coming to a head. NRA previously stated in recent court filings that the organization has been in deep financial trouble ever since the Carry Guard program was ruled illegal by the state of New York, costing the organization its liability insurance and destroying one of Ackerman’s big ventures. Earlier this week, the NRA filed suit against Ackerman over their refusal to provide viewership data for NRATV.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump Twitter freaks out about coming recession and tries to pin the blame on the Democrats

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President Donald Trump betrayed his mortal fear of a recession in another early morning Twitter rant about the economy.

The president insisted the economy was fine, and again tried to blame Democrats and the media if a recession hits before the 2020 election.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well," the president tweeted. "Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession."

He suggested that his political enemies were willing to sacrifice their wealth to defeat him next year.

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‘American Carnage’: How Mike Pence uses his brand of right-wing evangelical Christianity to play Trump

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In February of 2018, Donald Trump's former political guru Steve Bannon told Bloomberg News that in the 2016 election, "The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.”

Bannon was proven correct in his strategy of how Trump's racist, authoritarian pseudo-populist movement could win power in the United States (and various other places around the world). Nearly three years into Trump's tenure the American news media is still struggling with how to cover a president and an administration that have no use for democratic norms, the Constitution, the rule of law, and the truth or reality itself.

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Whistleblower hands House Dems evidence of ‘inappropriate’ interference on Trump’s tax returns

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A federal employee turned over “credible” evidence to House Democrats of possible “inappropriate efforts to influence” the IRS presidential audit process, House lawyers said in a court filing Tuesday.

In July, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., sued Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin after the latter rejected the panel’s request for six years of Trump’s tax returns. On Tuesday, House lawyers cited the new evidence in a motion asking a federal judge to rule without trial that the Treasury Department is required by law to turn over the president’s tax returns.

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