New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), the day after she announced she was seeking the dissolution of the National Rifle Association (NRA), responded directly to something President Donald Trump suggested when commenting on the lawsuit.
A reporter asked President Trump outside of the White House on Thursday if he had any thoughts James’s lawsuit against the NRA, which accused NRA leader Wayne LaPierre and other current or former executives of misspending, self-dealing and fraud. Trump said the Second Amendment advocacy group should move to Texas.
“I just heard about that. That’s a very terrible thing that just happened. I think the NRA should move to Texas and lead a very good and beautiful life, and I’ve told them that for a long time,” he said. “I think they should move to Texas — Texas would be a great place — or to another state of their choosing. But I would say that Texas would be a great place and an appropriate place for the NRA.”
“This has been going on for a long time. They’ve been absolutely decimated by the cost of that lawsuit, and it’s very sad. But I would suggest that that’s what they should be doing,” the president repeated.
James released a statement on Friday to say the NRA can’t and won’t be going anywhere.
“While President Trump and others have suggested that the NRA should simply pick up and leave New York in an effort to evade responsibility, I’d remind them that we shut down the president’s own foundation, recouped millions in diverted funds after unearthing the illegal use of charitable funds, and directed those funds to lawful organizations for legitimate charitable purposes,” James said. “We intend to do the same with the NRA.”
“To be clear, no charity registered in New York state, including the NRA, can dissolve and relocate to another state without approval of my office or of the Supreme Court of New York,” the AG added. “As long as our lawsuit continues, the NRA must stay right where it is and answer for their deep-rooted fraud. The facts speak for themselves and our lawsuit will continue undeterred.”
In late 2019, James ensured that the Trump Foundation was dissolved. The settlements included admission from Trump that he personally misused funds at the Trump Foundation—to benefit his 2016 candidacy. The settlements also included millions in fines and mandatory training requirements for the president’s children, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump.
Trump and James have sparred before on Twitter about the NRA.
Back in April 2019, after internal strife at the NRA went public, James announced she had launched an investigation into the NRA’s finances and issued subpoenas.
“The NRA is under siege by Cuomo and the New York State A.G., who are illegally using the State’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization, & others. It must get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting, & get back to GREATNESS – FAST!” Trump said in response.
James, much as she did on Thursday, said that her office was merely following facts where they led.
“Attorney General Letitia James is focused on enforcing the rule of law. In any case we pursue, we will follow the facts wherever they may lead,” the statement from James said. “We wish the President would share our respect for the law.”
[Images via Drew Angerer/Getty Images, Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images]
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