Following CLC’s Complaints, New York State Attorney General Subpoenas NRA records

NRA Executives with President Donald Trump
NRA Executive Director Chris Cox (L) and Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre (R) welcome U.S. President Donald Trump (C) onstage to deliver remarks at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Leadership Forum at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The New York State attorney general issued a subpoena for documents related to the National Rifle Association (NRA)’s illegal coordination scheme, which Campaign Legal Center documented in complaints filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  

In 2018, Campaign Legal Center, together with Giffords, filed four separate complaints with the FEC alleging that the NRA violated campaign finance law by using shell corporations to coordinate millions in campaign spending with seven federal candidates spanning three election cycles from 2014-2018.

The FEC did not take action on any of the four complaints. Campaign Legal Center Action sued the FEC on behalf of Giffords earlier this year.

According to an article in the New York Timesthe state attorney general’s subpoena  "...seeks documents related to internal communications about the N.R.A.’s filings to the FEC, as well as communications related to two intertwined political consulting firms, Starboard Strategic and OnMessage. A complaint filed to the FEC by Giffords, a gun-control group, alleged that the NRA had paid millions to Starboard as a way to direct money to Republican candidates advised by OnMessage, circumventing laws restricting how much groups like the NRA can donate to political campaigns. Giffords, which subsequently sued the FEC for failing to act, has alleged that Starboard and OnMessage are ‘functionally indistinguishable.’"

To reduce political corruption, we need a stronger FEC to enforce campaign finance laws and hold political candidates and their donors accountable. The New York State attorney general’s investigation is taking place while the FEC lacks the quorum to pursue any complaints about how wealthy special interests are spending money to influence the political process.

Seventy one percent of voters across partisan lines want the FEC to take a more active role in enforcing campaign finance laws.

It’s time for the FEC to do its job to protect the voices of all voters, not just special interests.

Learn more about Giffords v. FEC and illegal coordination at the NRA.