The National Rifle Association filed a counter-lawsuit this week against New York Attorney General Letitia James, accusing the Democrat of “weaponizing” her power to “destroy” an organization she dislikes.
The NRA filed the lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court on Tuesday in response to James’s legal attempt to dissolve the organization.
Back in August, James filed a suit seeking the NRA’s complete dissolution after investigating top NRA executives for 18 months.
She said the executives used the NRA as a “personal piggy bank” and argued the only solution was to get rid of the organization entirely.
The Second Amendment watchdog’s counter-suit contends that James’s motivations were obviously partisan, noting that her campaign relied heavily on promises to go after the gun-rights group.
“Even before assuming office, and without a shred of evidence that the NRA had done anything wrong, Attorney General James vowed to weaponize the supervisory powers of the NYAG to destroy one of the nation’s oldest, largest civil rights organizations,” said the filing, obtained by Reuters.
“Her impetus was nakedly political: to weaken the NRA as a political force in advance of the 2020 elections,” it added.
James commenced her “long-promised investigation” into the NRA with the purpose of “damaging the NRA politically, diverting its corporate resources, and contriving a pretext to dissolve the NRA,” the lawsuit continues.
James’s lawsuit was a “blatant and malicious retaliation campaign against the NRA and its constituents based on her disagreement with the content of their speech,” the NRA said.
“James’s unconstitutional, retaliatory investigation found no evidence to support her audacious claims, yet she predictably concluded it by commencing this action and seeking a dissolution of the NRA,” the counter complaint states.
The NRA is asking the court to dismiss James’s suit, arguing her actions were hypocritical since she has not opened similar investigations into other New York-based nonprofits.
In response, James said “while we review this filing, we will not allow the NRA to use this or any other tactic to evade accountability and my office’s oversight.”
William Brewer, counsel to the NRA, vowed to continue to fight James’s “weaponization of power.”
“The NYAG’s actions are retaliatory and reflect ‘selective use’ of regulatory oversight against the Association in violation of constitutional rights,” Brewer said in a statement. “The NRA will continue to confront the NYAG’s weaponization of power – to the benefit of the Association, its millions of members, and all who believe in constitutional freedom.”