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NRA president says 'members won’t be intimidated,' calls New York AG's lawsuit 'baseless'

"It’s a transparent attempt to score political points and attack the leading voice in opposition to the leftist agenda," the statement reads.

NEW YORK — The president of the National Rifle Association is firing back after New York's attorney general filed a lawsuit which is seeking to dissolve the organization. 

In a statement to 11Alive, NRA President Carolyn Meadows, who is also a resident of Cobb County, called the action "baseless."

“This was a baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend,” the statement reads. “You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle."

Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit claims that top executives illegally diverted tens of millions of dollars for personal trips and other questionable expenditures. 

It also highlighted misspending and self-dealing claims that have roiled the NRA and its longtime leader, Wayne LaPierre, in recent years — from hair and makeup for his wife to a $17 million post-employment contract for himself.

“It’s clear that the NRA has been failing to carry out its stated mission for many, many years and instead has operated as a breeding ground for greed, abuse and brazen illegality," James said at a news conference. “Enough was enough. We needed to step in and dissolve this corporation."

However, Meadows, who is not one of the named defendants in the suit, said the action won't intimidate the organization.

"It’s a transparent attempt to score political points and attack the leading voice in opposition to the leftist agenda," her statement reads. "This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Our members won’t be intimidated or bullied in their defense of political and constitutional freedom.”

RELATED: New York, DC lawsuits seek to dissolve NRA, its charitable arm

Meadows added, “As evidenced by the lawsuit filed by the NRA today against the NYAG, we not only will not shrink from this fight – we will confront it and prevail.”

The NRA also filed a counter lawsuit Thursday against James.

"The New York Democratic Party political machine seeks to harass, defund, and dismantle the NRA because of what it believes and what it says. Only this Court can stop it," the complaint states. 

"The NRA accordingly brings this lawsuit for declaratory and injunctive relief under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as well as for a judicial declaration of what is obvious: the NRA operates in substantial compliance with New York not-for-profit law," the lawsuit says.

The Washington, D.C., attorney general's office has been investigating the NRA Foundation for more than a year. The NRA Foundation, a charitable arm of the organization, is designed to provide programs for firearm safety, marksmanship and hunting safety. 

That investigation claims that low membership and lavish spending left the NRA with financial problems, and so it exploited the foundation to remain afloat. That lawsuit sought not to have the NRA destroyed, but to have a court-appointed monitor supervise financial transactions and a trust created to recover money diverted from the foundation.

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