James had filed a lawsuit in August against the NRA asserting that the gun-rights organization funneled millions of dollars to finance travel and for other purportedly inappropriate purposes.
The NRA filed its suit in the New York State Supreme Court this week and said it “responds to the contrived narrative by the New York Attorney General, and alleges that the case she filed is part of a crusade to silence a powerful political opponent and its commitment to Second Amendment advocacy,” William A. Brewer III, a lawyer for the NRA, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
The lawsuit from the group also charged James with seeking a “blatant and malicious retaliation campaign” against it because she avoids what it stands for. “James commenced her investigations and this action against the NRA with the sole purpose of seeking to dissolve a political enemy,” the NRA added.
The NRA alleged that New York’s top prosecutor engaged in “selective enforcement” of state not-for-profit laws violated its constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection. After that, it accused James of going after the NRA to gain political points ahead of the 2020 elections.
The attorney general, in response to the NRA’s counter-suit, told The Hill that “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.”
Earlier this year, the NRA announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will move its headquarters from New York state, where it was established, to Texas.
In August, James affirmed that the NRA supposedly was involved in the “diversion of millions of dollars away from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by senior leadership, awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family, and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty.”
The suit named NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre as well as NRA executives John Frazier, Woody Phillips, and Joshua Powell as defendants.
At around the same time, James announced she wanted to see the gun lobbying group dissolved.
“The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets,” she asserted. “The NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse, which is why, today, we seek to dissolve the NRA, because no organization is above the law.”