New York AG speaks out: The NRA 'looted' charitable funds — and it's time for them to pay
New York Attorney General Letitia James (screengrab)

On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," New York Attorney General Letitia James laid out the evidence she is bringing against the National Rifle Association in her lawsuit to force the breakup of the pro-gun organization.


"You say you found example after example of wrongdoing, financial mismanagement, total corruption, like Mr. LaPierre getting a $17 million contract with the NRA without board approval that paid him even after he lost — even after he would lose election as executive vice president," said host Erin Burnett. "What else did you find out?"

"What we found out is that the NRA diverted millions upon millions of dollars from its charitable mission," said James. "And it's unfortunate that Mr. Wayne LaPierre and three members of leadership, who include Woody Phillips, who was the treasurer, the chief of staff Joshua Powell, as well as the counsel John Frazier, all of them engaged in the looting of the charitable assets of this organization. It's unfortunate they failed to assure — to subscribe to standard fiscal controls. They failed to respond adequately to whistleblowers. They failed to look at related party transactions. They concealed and nature and scope of whistleblower concerns, and they failed to review potential conflicts of law. And obviously they failed to follow the law as well as possibly the internal revenue code."

"What we are seeking is that this corporation, which was formed under the not-for-profit law in the state of New York, that it be dissolved," continued James. "We are also seeking that these four individuals no longer serve in leadership positions at the NRA and not serve on any other board in the state of New York. And last but not least, that they account for the amount of money that they looted, including, but not limited to, their exaggerated compensation."

"Let me ask you this," said Burnett. "You say dissolving the group. Why not just remove these guys and have them pay whatever legal price they should pay for what they did if you can prove they did it? Why do you need to dissolve the NRA?"

"Because it was more than just these four individual defendants. It was the NRA as a corporate structure," said James. "It was the 76 members of the exec committee who basically turned a blind eye. It was those individuals who were on the auditing committee who turned a blind eye. There were those individuals who were on the compensation committee who turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to all the whistleblower concerns and all of the allegations with regards to financial inpropriety ... it's unfortunate that they violated their fiduciary duty and they engaged in this type of activity."

Watch below: