During his successful campaign for president in 2016, Donald Trump got more help from the National Rifle Association than from any other outside group. No surprise, then, that he would spring to its defense by criticizing New York officials who are investigating the organization. But troubling questions about the group’s finances exist — indeed, some were raised by NRA leaders — and an investigation is in order.
New York Attorney General Letitia James has opened an inquiry into the tax-exempt status of the NRA, which is chartered in New York. Letters were sent last week to the NRA and affiliated entities, including its charitable foundation, to preserve financial records, and The New York Times reported that some of the NRA’s related businesses received subpoenas. The NRA said it would cooperate with the probe, but earlier it accused the attorney general of going on “a taxpayer-funded fishing expedition.” Trump echoed that criticism with a tweet Monday that the NRA was “under siege by (New York Gov. Andrew) Cuomo and the New York State A.G., who are illegally using the state’s legal apparatus” to destroy the NRA.