New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation into the National Rifle Association after reports surfaced of financial improprieties within the organization.
“The Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation related to the National Rifle Association (NRA). As part of this investigation, the Attorney General has issued subpoenas,” a spokesperson for the attorney general's office told NPR. According to NPR, the group received a document preservation notice in connection with the AG's investigation, and The New York Times reports that several businesses connected with the gun rights group also received subpoenas.
The announcement comes just hours after and the pro-gun group's president, Oliver North, announced that he has been ousted, and The Daily Beast exclusively reported that longtime NRA lawyer, Steve Hart, has been suspended.
North's ouster capped off days of vicious infighting within the organization, with chief executive Wayne LaPierre claiming earlier this week that North was trying to blackmail him into leaving.
North was also at the center of a lawsuit filed by NRA lawyers against the group's longtime ad agency, Ackerman McQueen, over promotional work that apparently failed to deliver. The lawsuit alleged that North double-dipped by taking a salary from both the NRA and Ackerman McQueen at the same time and failed to deliver on promised sponsorship deals, saying the group found “no evidence that any substantial sponsorships exist.”
After news broke Saturday of the attorney general's probe, an outside lawyer for the NRA said the group would cooperate.
“The NRA will fully cooperate with any inquiry into its finances,” outside counsel William A. Brewer III said in a statement, adding that the NRA is “prepared for this and has full confidence in its accounting practices.”