Preet Bharara and former White House ethics chief just teamed up to destroy a major NRA lie

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Two men of high moral character who left their government positions as a result of Donald Trump’s corruption — fired New York U.S. attorney, Preet Bharara, and resigned White House ethics chief, Walter Shaub — teamed up today on Twitter to demolish the lie espoused by National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch that the organization that funds and controls the Republican Party is “not a lobbying group.”

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Loesch tried to argue that the NRA exclusively supports members and that only the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the lobbying “arm” of the organization.

The two erudite former officials pulled out all the receipts in combatting Loesch’s lies designed stop the hemorrhaging financial support of major brands that have cut ties with the gun lobby under pressure from activism arising in the wake of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School massacre that killed 14 teens and three teachers in Parkland, Florida less than two weeks ago.

Bharara quoted Shaub’s Twitter thread enumerating all the documented evidence that proves that not just the ILA, but the NRA, is listed as a “lobbying group,” and furthermore, that NRA Executive Vice President Wayne La Pierre is registered as a lobbyist.

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Furthermore, Shaub pointed out, ILA expenditures accounted for a mere fraction of overall NRA lobbying spending in 2017.  The former ethics official who left the White House after decrying its total breakdown of ethical norms, demanded to know which “arm” of the NRA spent the other 94% of last year’s lobbying money and for what.

Shaub faced Loesch head-on when she attacked him for not knowing “anything about the group you’re smearing,” replying directly, “That’s a lie.”

He shared the NRA’s quarterly tax filings listing them as a lobbying group.

Bharara, whom Trump fired early in 2017 for not agreeing to engage in an unethical relationship with him, backed up Shaub and other ethics watchdogs, saying he would counter the NRA’s lies with the facts in his upcoming podcast.

The lobbying association with only 5 million members has been holding our nation of 350 million people hostage for decades, by paying politicians to stop laws that keep our children, and ourselves, safe from gun violence — making us #1 for mass shootings in the entire developed world. 

In the wake of the 59th shooting at or near a school in 2018 alone, Parkland survivors have ignited a national #NeverAgain movement to force Republican politicians to summon enough courage to defy their NRA overlords and pass sensible gun laws.

High school student activism has the Russia-backed NRA in a defensive crouch, with Trump, who last year signed an executive order overturning an Obama-era bill that helped prevent mentally ill people from accessing firearms,  shilling for them.

The president also opposes an assault weapons ban, which is statistically proven to reduce mass shootings.

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Instead of preventing kids, domestic abusers, terrorists and the mentally ill from accessing weapons of war like the AR-15 used in Parkland and most other mass shootings, Trump wants to increase the number of guns, by arming teachers.

By sharing evidence on Twitter today of the NRA’s well-funded campaign to put profits before lives, Shaub and Bharara are arming American citizens with facts.  

We will need them to win against the entrenched interests that have had a stranglehold on our country for so long.

To join or donate to the March for our Lives, that Parkland students are leading in Washington, D.C. and satellite cities around the country on March 24, click here.

Follow Lucia Brawley on Twitter and at

Lucia Brawley

Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to Follow her on Twitter: @luciabrawley

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