The National Rifle Association is fighting back against a lawsuit filed Thursday by New York’s attorney general by submitting its own civil suit against the state official, accusing her of defamation and violating its rights to free speech. The NRA’s lawsuit was filed in the federal court of New York and alleges Attorney General Letitia James “made the political prosecution of the NRA a central campaign theme” when she was running for the AG’s office in 2018, and has not treated the association fairly since. “Despite hopes that playing by the rules would procure a just outcome, the NRA has not been treated fairly by James’s office,” the 19-page suit states. “The New York Democratic Party political machine seeks to harass, defund, and dismantle the NRA because of what it believes and what it says.” The defamation allegations stem from James’ public descriptions of the NRA as a “criminal enterprise” and “a terrorist organization.” “James boasted that she would strike foul blows against the NRA and pound the NRA into submission. She vowed that she would use the NYAG’s investigative and enforcement powers for the precise purpose of stanching political speech (‘deadly propaganda),” the lawsuit states. “She has begun to deliver on her campaign promises to retaliate against the NRA for constitutionally protected speech on issues that James opposes. As NYAG, James has regrettably succumbed to ‘individual passions, and individual malevolence.’” President Trump also slammed James’ suit against the group, calling it “a very terrible thing.” “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. I think they should move to Texas – Texas would be a great state 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.” James sued the NRA, which is headquartered in Fairfax, Va., in an effort to dissolve the gun-rights group “for years of self-dealing and illegal conduct,” she announced Thursday. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, alleges that the NRA “diverted millions of dollars away from its charitable mission for personal use by senior leadership.” She further slammed the association for what she called “years of self-dealing and illegal conduct that violate New York’s charities laws and undermine its own mission.” [full article]
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