On Friday, the Wall Street Journal released a report stating that they had acquired a letter written to NRA by the group’s current CEO, Wayne LaPierre, who stated that he is being asked to resign for “financial improprieties,” but claims that he is being extorted by NRA President, Oliver North. This comes as a surprise, because not even a year ago, LaPierre was singing North’s praises.
According to the report:
‘LaPierre has told the group’s board he is being extorted and pressured to resign by the organization’s president, Oliver North, over allegations of financial improprieties, in an extraordinary battle roiling one of the nation’s most powerful nonprofit political groups’
‘Yesterday evening, I was forced to confront one of those defining choices — styled, in the parlance of extortionists — as an offer I couldn’t refuse. I refused it.
‘The extortion was simple: resign or there will be destructive allegations made against me and the NRA. Alarmed and disgusted, I refused the offer.’
In the letter, Lapierre claims that the NRA’s advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen, Inc., had composed a letter with damaging information about him and threatened to send it to the NRA board if he refused to resign. Subsequently, NRA President Oliver North relayed this information to LaPierre’s staff and said that if the letter came out that it would be “bad” for LaPierre. North also reportedly stated that the letter wouldn’t be sent if LaPierre agreed to resign.
The report came just hours after Trump went to the NRA’s yearly meeting and proclaimed himself a “champion of gun rights.” And, let’s not forget that the NRA donated $36 million to Trump’s campaign.
According to the New York Times:
‘The power struggle within the N.R.A. is an abrupt escalation of a legal battle between the organization and Ackerman McQueen. The Times reported earlier this year that prominent members of the N.R.A. board had grown dismayed at the performance of Ackerman because of its NRATV online media service, which has drifted into right-wing politics far beyond gun rights. Ackerman employs Mr. North, who hosts an NRATV series called “American Heroes.”
‘It is not clear whether Mr. North has the board support to oust Mr. LaPierre, who has led the N.R.A. for decades. Previously, the presidency has been a ceremonial position, though Mr. North, in documents reviewed by The Times, has asked for it to be a paid post. A key factor will be Chris Cox, who runs the N.R.A.’s Institute for Legislative Action and is effectively the group’s second-ranking official.’
LaPierre has been a very outspoken leader of the NRA, especially in recent years, and is known for speaking out, particularly after mass shootings, to try to deflect the attention and blame away from the powerful gun lobby and the fact that guns are so widely available to just about anyone.
The Times goes on to report:
‘In a statement, a lawyer for the N.R.A., William A. Brewer III, said the organization had been reviewing many of the issues raised by Mr. North since last year.
‘“In our view,” Mr. Brewer said, “the items involving Mr. LaPierre may reflect a misinformed view of his and the N.R.A.’s commitment to good governance.”
‘Ackerman McQueen declined to comment.
‘With the N.R.A.’s board due to meet on Monday, the crisis could come to a head soon.
‘“All of this is painful for me,” Mr. LaPierre wrote. “I will not judge Col. North, but must report what many of you already know: He has contractual and financial loyalties to AM.”
‘Mr. North, for his part, wrote, “We are facing a serious crisis,” adding, “To date, my repeated efforts to inquire about the propriety of management’s financial decisions have consistently been rebuffed.”’
You can read the full report from the Wall Street Journal here.
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