Highlights from Bloomberg News

NRA Legal Spending At Record Pace Of Over $22 Million In 2021, As Revenue Dips

Bloomberg News revealed the National Rifle Association has already spent $22 million on legal fees in the first five months of the year. Between January and May, legal costs were the organization’s largest expense after membership activities, according to the article. According to Bloomberg News, the NRA has spent dramatically more on legal fees since 2018 — including a record $40 million in 2020 — compared to the previous eight years. 

The new report also revealed that the NRA is also struggling to hit its revenue goals for the year, when it brought in the lowest revenue since 2012.

This legal spending came during the NRA’s trial for its failed bankruptcy, which revealed to the public even more of the mismanagement and self-dealing that has consumed the organization in recent years. The trial featured testimony from the NRA’s president in which she admitted to burning and shredding documents ahead of a subpoena, the NRA’s former CEO pleading the fifth dozens of times, and extensive testimony about CEO Wayne LaPierre’s lifestyle of private jet travel and designer suits paid for by the organization and its vendors. 

The amount of legal spending has caught the attention of many, in the face of extensive reporting on the influence wielded over the NRA by outside lawyer Bill Brewer, whose firm has been the main recipient of these exorbitant legal fees and has billed the NRA $1,400 an hour for representation.

More from Bloomberg News

Legal costs were the nonprofit’s largest single expense after membership activities in the five months through May, when a judge rejected the gun-rights group’s bid to reorganize through bankruptcy, documents obtained by Bloomberg show. 

According to the internal documents, total revenue, including income from grants, affinity programs and other operations, fell from $295.3 million in 2019 to $285.4 million in 2020. Through the end of May this year, the total was about $109 million, which leaves the NRA about $5.6 million behind its goal of matching the 2020 figure, the records show.