NRA boss Wayne LaPierre says he has filed for bankruptcy to get the organization out of ‘toxic’ New York and move to Texas – because he defends lavish spending and says hunting African wildlife is only part of its work was.
- LaPierre gave testimony during a virtual bankruptcy hearing on Wednesday
- He said he was trying to find a “ fair legal playing field ” when he filed for Chapter 11 in January
- The NRA had been charged with corruption by New York State
- AG Letitia James said that LaPierre and his deputies have stolen the company’s funds
- He defended their spending on Wednesday, saying that hunting wild animals was part of the job
- He also said he wanted to leave “toxic” New York, where he claims the association is a political target
- James wants the bankruptcy case thrown out so she can sue
NRA boss Wayne LaPierre. He said on Wednesday that he had filed for bankruptcy to get the NRA out of “toxic” New York – where it has been located for years – to move to Texas.
NRA chief Wayne LaPierre admitted on Wednesday that he had filed a Chapter 11 deal to take the organization out of “ toxic ” Democratic New York and move to Texas, where it would be better received by lawmakers.
LaPierre gave testimony at a bankruptcy hearing in Texas on Wednesday. The NRA filed for bankruptcy in New York – where it has been based for decades – after being sued by the state attorney general Letitia James for corruption and money mismanagement. They want to relocate their operation to Texas, where they will be welcomed more cordially by Republican lawmakers.
James alleges that the bankruptcy claim is inappropriate and improper and is merely an attempt to avoid paying any sort of settlement if she wins her case against the organization.
On Wednesday, LaPierre began justifying some of the exorbitant spending within the organization that James is complaining about in her lawsuit.
Hunting trips were one of them, he said. He claimed that the hunting of wildlife, including buffalo and elephants, was a business expense that was so justified.
He also admitted that he hid it from colleagues when he planned to file a Chapter 11 in January, but said he was doing it in the best interest of the organization.
“We filed for bankruptcy to find a fair legal playing field where the NRA can thrive and grow in a fair legal environment, unlike what we believe had become a toxic, politicized and armed government in New York State.”
LaPierre is shown in the 2014 docu series Under the Skies with an animal he just killed
The NRA’s headquarters are in Virginia, but the association has been chartered as a New York nonprofit since 1871. Shown is Virginia headquarters
James sued the NRA in August 2020. She claims that LaPierre, former Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wilson ‘Woody’ Phillips, former Chief of Staff and Executive Director of General Operations Joshua Powell, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer have used the NRA as a ‘personal piggy bank’ for years .
New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing the NRA. While the bankruptcy hearing continues, her case comes to a standstill
Her lawsuit alleges that they used NRA funds – built up through donations from members – to pay for “ travel for them and their families to the Bahamas, private jets and expensive meals.
The NRA denied it, calling it a political attack driven by a democratic state and a collective of liberal lawmakers and prosecutors.
The testimony came on the third day of the trial, which is practically being held before a federal court in Dallas.
NRA lawyers have framed bankruptcy as a legitimate attempt to move to a kinder political environment and avoid a legal deathblow; New York lawyers have argued that it is an attempt by LaPierre and other executives to evade accountability for using the country’s most politically influential gun rights group as a piggy bank.
As the hearing resumed Wednesday morning at the request of New York to remove the case, Judge Harlin Hale called it “the most important motion I have ever heard as a judge.”
The NRA declared bankruptcy five months after New York Attorney General Letitia James sued for the group’s dissolution. The Democratic official alleged that top executives of the NRA illegally diverted tens of millions of dollars for lavish personal travel, no-show employee contracts, and other questionable expenses.
The bankruptcy process freezes pending a dispute.