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Giffords, the gun-control nonprofit founded by former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords, has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the National Rifle Association of violating campaign finance laws dating back to 2014.
The lawsuit alleges that the country’s leading gun rights group used shell companies to funnel “as much as $35 million in unlawful, excessive, and unreported in-kind campaign contributions” to Republican candidates for federal office, including Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“The NRA has long acted like it is above the law, and it has done so flagrantly in the last several election cycles,” David Pucino, Giffords Law Center senior staff attorney, said in a statement.
“This lawsuit demonstrates that the NRA broke the law by illegally coordinating with federal campaigns and funneling millions of dollars to candidates who supported their extremist, deadly agenda,” he added.
The lawsuit claims that the NRA coordinated with seven different campaigns by siphoning money through vendors in a way that violated federal campaign finance laws. The suit alleges that other beneficiaries of the scheme included Republican Senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Missouri’s Josh Hawley, among others.