NY AG Letitia James Flips NRA’s Former Second-In-Command

by Tommy Grant

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A new court filing in Letitia James’ case against the NRA reveals that she has flipped the former chief of staff of the NRA. In exchange for limiting his personal liability, he has agreed to testify against his former employer in court.

The Settlement

In a settlement (download a copy here), Joshua Powell agrees that he was guilty of misusing funds and not being true to his duty as an officer of the NRA. His damages in the case, or money that he officially owes the NRA, are limited to $100,000, which will be held in trust by the New York Attorney General’s office. In exchange for this, Powell has agreed to not dispute his guilt or the guilt of the organization, and agrees to testify against the NRA at trial.

This is very likely why the NRA held an emergency meeting today, with Wayne LaPierre resigning.

It’s worth noting that after being fired from the NRA, Powell started shilling for gun control. Whether this was a sincere view on his part or an attempt to get on Letitia James’ good side to limit his own personal exposure to the case is unknown and probably unknowable. But, we do know that he advocates for moving the whole organization more toward training and away from politics, and he may be influential in the outcome of the trial through his testimony.

What This Means For The Trial

With this flipping, the NRA has basically no chance at winning the trial. Between existing evidence and Powell’s testimony, the judge is extremely likely to award damages, meaning that existing corrupt NRA leadership will owe the NRA money. They are also very likely to be removed and barred from ever serving on the board of a New York non-profit organization in the future.

The court has already denied a motion to dissolve the NRA, so the organization will continue to exist. But, with the NRA decapitated, the court will have to appoint a special master to run the organization and rebuild its leadership.

The Big Question: What Does The NRA Become?

While it’s basically a foregone conclusion that the existing leadership is gone, what we don’t know is what kind of an organization will emerge from the process. Who chooses the new leadership, how the members will be involved, and what continuing oversight the new NRA will have to live with are all going to be decided during and after the trial.

At this point, there’s not a lot that members and instructors can do to influence the outcome, unfortunately. But, we do need to keep an eye on the trial and see what happens. When a special master is appointed and when a new board is selected, NRA members need to make sure to be as involved in the process as possible and push for a better organization to come out of this.

The NRA might not be allowed to continue engaging in legislative efforts, but the possibility of a vastly improved training and education department could end up being a very good thing.


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