The Weekly Reload Podcast

Non-Profit Law Professor James Fishman on the NRA's Corruption Trial

February 12th, 2024

This week, we're looking ahead to the end of the NRA's corruption trial that's set to arrive on Friday.

To better understand exactly what's at stake in the case, I've brought on an expert in not just non-profit law but New York non-profit law. Pace University Law Professor James Fishman, who has written extensively on the subject, joins the show to give us some expert insight into the facts of the case and the potential outcomes. He provides an overview of what to expect once the case ends.

Fishman argued the admitted misappropriation of funds by current and former NRA leadership, especially former CEO Wayne LaPierre, put the group in serious legal jeopardy. He also dismissed many of the arguments the group and its leadership have used in the case thus far.

He painted a dim picture of the group's chances for success in the case.

Fishman did admit New York Attorney General Letitia James (D.) erred when describing the NRA as a "terrorist organization" during her campaign. But he explained the NRA's repeated attempts to use her comments as a defense in the case failed because the AG built her case around provable instances of corruption and misappropriation of funds that have left the NRA in dire straights. He argued those facts would weigh more on the judge and jury than the AG's rhetoric.

As for the likely outcome, Fishman said the NRA will likely end up with a court-appointed overseer in charge of vetting its financial decisions. He said the overseer could also force reform on the group's 76-member board and its opaque bylaws.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I discuss the Hawaiian Supreme Court ruling putting the "Spirit of Aloha" above gun rights.