“As part of this investigation, the Attorney General has issued subpoenas,” a spokesperson for New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement to CNN. “We will not have further comment at this time.”
The spokesperson would not confirm what the investigation was regarding.
However, the gun-safety group, Everytown for Gun Safety, said it filed a complaint about the NRA’s tax-exempt status with the IRS.
The group said it was prompted by a recent report by The Trace, in conjunction with the New Yorker, alleging that a small group of executives, contractors and vendors affiliated with the NRA “have extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from non-profit’s budget.”
“In light of the recent, credible allegations of excessive invoicing and personal enrichment by insiders, it’s encouraging that the New York Attorney General is looking into the NRA, and we renew our call for other state and federal authorities to do the same,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety.
The investigation comes after a dispute between the group’s president, Oliver North, and chief executive officer, Wayne LaPierre, in which North accused LaPierre of financial misconduct, according to the Wall Street Journal.
James’ office sent the NRA on Friday a document preservation order, according to the Journal. NPR was the first to report on the New York attorney general investigation.
The Journal said New York investigators plan to look into alleged financial misconduct like the kind North recently raised in internal disputes.
The New York attorney general’s probe centers on “related-party transactions between the NRA and its board members; unauthorized political activity; and potentially false or misleading disclosures in regulatory filings,” a person familiar with language used in the order told the Journal.
“The NRA will fully cooperate with any inquiry into its finances,” said William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and counsel to the NRA in a statement to CNN. “The NRA is prepared for this, and has full confidence in its accounting practices and commitment to good governance.”
In a letter to the NRA board Thursday, LaPierre claimed North was pressuring him to resign and attempting to extort him, the Journal reported Friday.
North sent the board his own letter, telling them he was forming a crisis committee to look into the NRA’s finances, the newspaper noted.
He had previously accused LaPierre of charging over $200,000 in wardrobe purchases to a NRA vendor, according to the Journal.
North also raised other allegations to the board, including excessive travel expenses charged to a vendor and sexual harassment accusations against a senior NRA official, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
On Saturday, North informed members in a letter he will not be renominated president of the gun rights group.
The dispute between LaPierre and North had stemmed in part from the NRA’s relationship with its contracted ad agency, Ackerman McQueen Inc., the Journal noted.
CNN’s Eli Watkins and Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.