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Wayne LaPierre. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Thursday to dissolve the National Rifle Association, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

Why it matters: The NRA is the most powerful gun lobby in the country and receives a huge amount in donations each year, but New York's investigation claims that CEO Wayne LePierre and other top leaders undermined the organization's mission for their own personal benefit.

  • "The NRA’s influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets," James said in a statement.
  • The NRA has operated in New York since 1871. The suit charges the organization as a whole, in addition to four top executives, including LaPierre.
  • D.C.'s attorney general also simultaneously filed a similar lawsuit against the organization's foundation.

What they're saying: When asked by reporters Thursday why New York's attorney general office is in favor of dissolving the NRA instead of targeting specific people in the organization, James said: "Because the corruption was so broad. And because of the level of waste. And because they have basically destroyed all of the assets of the operation."

  • President Trump told reporters in response to the news: "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 … this has been going on for a long time, they’ve been absolutely decimated by the cost of that lawsuit."

The other side: The NRA vowed to fight back against the lawsuit in a series on tweets on Thursday, stating, "This was a baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend. You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle."

  • "It’s a transparent attempt to score political points and attack the leading voice in opposition to the leftist agenda. This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta."

Read the lawsuit.

Go deeper

Mary Trump claims in lawsuit that the president and his siblings "swindled" her inheritance

Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

President Trump's niece filed a lawsuit on Thursday alleging that the president and other family members "swindled her" out of an inheritance worth tens of millions, per the suit filed with New York's Supreme Court.

The big picture: Mary Trump's lawsuit, filed two months after her memoir portrayed her uncle as a dangerous sociopath, references a massive 2018 New York Times investigation that found the Trump family reportedly engaged in dubious tax schemes, including outright fraud, in the 1990s.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.