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Wayne LaPierre’s Lawyer Accuses New York AG of Targeting the NRA With Civil Trial

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Wayne LaPierre’s Lawyer Accuses New York AG of Targeting the NRA With Civil Trial
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A lawyer of the former National Rifle Association employee, Wayne LaPierre, has accused the New York Attorney General, Letitia James, of targeting the association with civil trial. This comes as LaPierre and two others are under fire for a civil corruption trial.

During the closing statements at the trial on February 15th, P. Kent Correll, the attorney for all three defendants, said that James set out years ago to dissolve the NRA. According to Correll, suing LaPierre is only a part of that goal. 

In addition, he highlighted some remarks the AG made some years ago when she was running for the position. Her statements suggested that NRA was akin to a “terrorist organization,” and she vowed to open an investigation if they elected her. 

“She wanted to decapitate the organization, and that was for political reasons,” Correll said. The attorney general held true to her words. In 2020, she filed a lawsuit alleging that LaPierre drew millions of dollars away from the NRA on luxuries for himself.

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ALSO READ: NRA Dissociates From Longtime Leader Wayne LaPierre in Opening Speech at Civil Trial

As for the two other executives, John Frazer and Wilson “Woody” Phillips, she claimed that they flouted nonprofit laws and internal policies to enrich themselves. Frazer is still the corporate secretary and general counsel of the NRA. However, Phillips is its former treasurer and chief financial officer.

The suit also accuses them of breaching their fiduciary duties and failing to take action against LaPierre. According to reports, LaPierre enjoyed free private jet trips, expensive meals, travel consultants, private security, and trips to the Bahamas for himself and his family. Initially, James tried to dissolve the NRA as part of her suit. 

However, State Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen dismissed that effort in 2022. He said that her complaint “does not allege the type of public harm that is the legal linchpin for imposing the ‘corporate death penalty.’”

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Cohen also has the final say over monetary damages and remedies. Therefore, he could determine whether or not they should remove Frazer from his position. James’s attorney, Monica Connell, claimed that the defendants were clearly guilty.

She also likened their actions to children whose parents had caught them stealing from a cookie jar. Using this analogy, she claimed that they denied, deflected, and minimized their alleged misuse of millions of dollars in NRA funds, the way a guilty child does.

“They’re going to try to get you to think about anything except what happened to those cookies,” she said in her closing remarks. “They’re going to blame anyone else but themselves.” In addition, she told the jury that the corruption issue at hand is more serious than her cookie analogy. 

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ALSO READ: NRA Leader Wayne LaPierre Steps Down Amid Corruption Case

Connell also urged the jurors to hold the defendants accountable, regardless of any steps their attorneys may have outlined to address or correct their violations. “Saying you’re sorry now doesn’t mean you didn’t take the cookies,” she concluded. 

Surprisingly, James has not been in court for all the hearings. The sending attorney has also pointed this out, claiming that it only further proves his point that James only has a political vendetta. The Attorney General’s office has refused to comment or clarify this.

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