Leaked NRA Documents: Departing President Oliver North Warned Legal Fees Could Bury The Organization

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A series of documents that were leaked anonymously online and verified by multiple media outlets show that departing National Rifle Association President Oliver North warned that the organization is facing substantial financial troubles, HuffPost reports. The reportedly dire financial straits were revealed in a letter from North to top NRA officials, wherein North warned that he was “deeply concerned about the extraordinary legal fees the NRA has incurred,” specifically those paid to NRA attorney Bill Brewer.

“The amount appears to be approximately $24 million over a 13-month period,” the letter said, citing an amount that averages more than $50,000 a day.

“The Brewer invoices are draining NRA cash at a mindboggling speed.”

Based on the timing of the letter, it appears that North’s warning came about a week before he indicated publicly that he would not pursue reelection after his failed ouster of internal NRA rival CEO Wayne LaPierre.

Central to the dispute between North and LaPierre has been the organization’s use of ad agency Ackerman McQueen, which also appears to be drawing substantial payments from the NRA with more than a half million dollars billed.

Ackerman McQueen aside, it appears that the NRA’s legal fees may show little sign of slowing down, as the group prepares for federal litigation against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as well as to mount a defense against a separate investigation from the New York attorney general.

On a similar note, Representative Brad Schneider, a Democrat from Illinois, had asked the Internal Revenue Service to open an investigation into the NRA’s tax-exempt status after reports emerged about the organization’s allegedly questionable business deals.

The NRA’s new president, Carolyn Meadows, was largely dismissive of reporting related to the organization’s alleged financial woes. She generally maligned whichever individual or individuals chose to leak the information to the press and reaffirmed the confidence that she and the rest of the NRA leadership had in LaPierre as the transition continues following North’s departure.

“This is stale news — being recycled by those with personal agendas,” she said in a prepared statement.

“In any event, the entire board is fully aware of these issues. We have full confidence in Wayne LaPierre and the work he’s doing in support of the NRA and its members. It is troubling and a bit pathetic that some people would resort to leaking information to advance their agendas. This has no bearing on the board’s support of Wayne — and the work the NRA does to protect America’s constitutional freedoms.”