Oliver North Out As NRA President Amid Financial Finger-Pointing

Oliver North Out As NRA President Amid Financial Finger-Pointing

Oliver North Out As NRA President Amid Financial Finger-Pointing

It’s been a day at the NRA Annual Meeting weekend. Oliver North, who was serving as NRA president, got into a pretty big disagreement with NRA vice-president Wayne LaPierre. At the end of said disagreement, LaPierre was at the morning meeting and Oliver North was not.

And they left his chair empty.

It’s only been a day since Donald Trump addressed the meeting. So, what on earth happened?

Until more details come to light, the crux of the argument seems to be finger-pointing between North and LaPierre about the use of the NRA’s finances.

A power struggle within the National Rifle Association is coming to an explosive head after NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said he faced pressure to resign his post within the organization this week from retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the group’s president.”

The bombshell charge was detailed in a letter from Mr. LaPierre, dated April 25 and addressed to members of the NRA Board, and comes as the association is gathered here for its annual meetings.”

The letter was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.”

In his own letter to the board dated April 25, Mr. North said Mr. LaPierre was reacting to an earlier memo Mr. North had sent out announcing he was forming a special “crisis management committee” tasked with looking into alleged financial improprieties on the part of the NRA.”

But Mr. LaPierre had said that Mr. North called one of his senior staff members on Wednesday and conveyed a message that unless Mr. LaPierre resigned from his position with the NRA, Ackerman McQueen, the group’s longtime advertising firm, would transmit an “allegedly damaging” letter to the entire NRA board.”

The letter “would contain a devastating account of our financial status, sexual harassment charges against a staff member, accusations of wardrobe expenses and excessive staff travel expenses,” Mr. LaPierre said.”

He said he’s not backing down, however.”

“I believe our Board and devoted members will see this for what it is: a threat meant to intimidate and divide us,” Mr. LaPierre said in the letter. “I choose to stand and fight, and hope to bring 5 million members with me.”

Mr. North said in his own letter to the board late Thursday that Mr. LaPierre was reacting to an earlier memo in which Mr. North announced he was setting up a special committee to see whether there was “substance” to recent news reports on the NRA’s finances.”

“I did this because I am deeply concerned that these allegations of financial improprieties could threaten our nonprofit status,” Mr. North said in the letter, obtained by The Washington Times.”

“We are facing a serious crisis,” Mr. North said. “To date, my repeated efforts to inquire about the proprieties of management’s financial decisions have consistently been rebuffed.”

The NRA recently sued Ackerman McQueen, alleging that it was intentionally withholding financial information the group said it needed to meet its legal obligations.”

Part of the issue, according to the lawsuit, is that Ackerman was dragging its feet on providing documentation regarding a contract involving Mr. North.”

“Put simply, the NRA is at the end of its rope,” the lawsuit said.”

Mr. LaPierre said in the April 25 letter that Mr. North’s agreement with the agency pays him “millions” of dollars annually to host an NRATV documentary series, “American Heroes.”

There were supposed to be 12 feature-length episodes within the series’ first year but the firm has only delivered three, he said.”

“The NRA wrote a recent letter demanding to know what, exactly it is paying for — and what it is getting — in light of these production shortfalls,” Mr. LaPierre said. “AM did not respond directly, but appears to have responded indirectly by trying to oust me.”

And when the dust cleared, Oliver North was the one who left the building.

In a letter read out by a board member Saturday, North said: “Please know I hoped to be with you today as NRA president endorsed for reelection. I’m now informed that that will not happen.”

He said that the NRA should form a committee to probe the group’s finances, adding that it represents a “clear crisis” that “needs to be dealt with” if the organization wants to remain a viable organization.

So, the NRA – at LaPierre’s direction – is suing the advertising group Ackerman McQueen for mismanagment of funds. This same ad group has apparently paid Oliver North for appearing in NRATV pieces – but hasn’t delivered the goods. North says LaPierre is mismanaging funds, and wanted a committee to look into it. With North out, it’s clear who had the momentum on their side. But that still leaves an enormous mess for the NRA board to clean up – something journalist Stephen Gutowski addressed with board member Allen West. West, for his part, believes that the NRA needs an internal audit system.

The NRA board will be meeting on Monday.

The board had better come up with some new guidelines fast, because this kind of internal strife does no one any good. The NRA is bigger than than any two men, and the board needs to realize that.

Featured image: Oliver North at the NRA Annual Meeting (screenshot via CBS News on YouTube)

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