Turley: The tragic irony of the New York state lawsuit against the NRA

Turley: The tragic irony of the New York state lawsuit against the NRA

It is a good thing that Ambrose Burnside is not alive to see this. New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a 169-page complaint seeking, among other things, the dissolution of the National Rifle Association. For the hapless Burnside, it is one final indignity. Widely ridiculed as an unimaginative Union commander during the Civil War, Burnside has only two lasting legacies. First, his facial hair was so prominent that others started to sport "Burnsides" (or, as they were later known, sideburns). Second, he was the NRA’s first president in 1871. Now, James wants to leave him literally with just his whiskers. Her complaint alleges lavish spending and self-dealing by officers, particularly NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. The list includes hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly spent on LaPierre, his wife, other family and friends. It runs from the petty to the gross, including gifts from Neiman Marcus, golf memberships and private jets. When figures like former NRA president Oliver North sided with NRA whistleblowers, they reportedly were forced out. The NRA reportedly has spent an obscene $100 million on legal fees and related costs alone. If there is hope for Burnside’s non-follicle-based legacy, it is James herself. While she claims the NRA is fraught with self-dealing by its leadership, the same complaint can be levelled against her record as attorney general. I previously criticized her for openly politicizing her office. She ran on a pledge to prosecute Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort; she not only used […]

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