The public face of the National Rifle Association’s leadership, Wayne LaPierre, goes on trial Monday in Manhattan. New York’s hyper-political Attorney General Latitia James seeks to remove LaPierre and others, alleging that they violated state and federal laws with their “diversion” of funds for questionable purposes like travel, clothing and more.
Wayne LaPierre, the longtime CEO of the National Rifle Association, is facing the most serious threat to his leadership of the pro-gun lobbyist organization as a corruption case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James is set to get underway in Manhattan, according to a report.
James’ lawsuit seeks to remove LaPierre, 75, one of four defendants in the suit that alleges top officials at the organization violated state and federal laws and diverted millions of dollars in funds from the NRA for flights, travel, clothing and hotels, the New York Times reported.
The trial is scheduled to start Jan. 8 in New York State Supreme Court and is expected to last about two months.
Jury selection began Tuesday.
On one hand, James has waged her own jihad against the nation’s oldest civil rights organization since taking office. On the other hand, LaPierre has faced harsh criticism from members of the NRA about his lavish spending. For example, The Reload covered the NRA spending $1.2 million in luxury air travel in 2022.
Despite slashing core expenses in recent years to account for falling membership and rising legal fees, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has continued to shell out big bucks for luxury air travel.
According to a purchasing policy disclosure report obtained by The Reload, the NRA spent more than $1.2 million with private jet companies in 2022 alone. The report—which details more than $50 million in spending on vendors with which the organization does not have a contract—documents approximately $750,000 in spending to a company called Magellan Jets LLC and another $517,000 to Corporate America Aviation Inc.
The purchasing policy disclosure arrives at the same time as financial documents detailing the group’s continued freefall in membership numbers and year-end revenue. Those have both steadily declined year-over-year since 2018, down from nearly 5.5 million members to just 4.3 million. Revenue plummeted by more than $100 million over the same timeframe.
As a result, the group has been continuously cutting spending on education and training, competitive shooting, and other programs at the core of its mission. The NRA spent roughly $28 million less than what was budgeted for all areas other than legal costs and publications, yet it still operated at a loss of around $11 million in 2022—calling into question the decision to continue spending large sums on premium air travel.
The NRA has Dallas-based attorney William Brewer representing it. The gun group has spent millions in legal fees with Brewer’s law firm fighting Latitia James as well as other legal issues – not always with a lot of successes.
Stay tuned for what happens in this upcoming high-profile trial.