In late April, as former NRA president Oliver North was ousted from his post, North said in his resignation letter that there’s “a clear crisis” within the right-wing organization.
As regular readers know, that assessment is increasingly easy to believe. Indeed, it’s been difficult to keep up with the group’s list of controversies, which in recent months, has grown with alarming regularity. Where does one even start? With North’s ouster? The demise of the NRA’s failed television network? The ugly fight with Ackerman McQueen, the group’s longtime ad firm? The suspension of the NRA’s top lobbyist? The multiple resignations of its board members?
How about the inquiries launched by investigators in New York? Or the subpoenas issued by the attorney general for the District of Columbia?
The latest report from the Washington Post will only raise the volume on the questions about how the NRA managed its considerable resources.
Documents indicate that the National Rifle Association planned to purchase a luxury mansion in the Dallas area last year for the use of chief executive Wayne LaPierre, according to two people familiar with the records.
The discussions about the roughly $6 million purchase, which was not completed, are now under scrutiny by New York investigators. The transaction was slated to be made through a corporate entity that received a wire of tens of thousands of dollars from the NRA in 2018, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
The New York attorney general’s office is now examining the plan for an NRA-financed mansion as part of its ongoing investigation into the gun lobby’s tax-exempt status, in which it has subpoenaed the group’s financial records, the people said.
The reporting, which hasn’t been independently confirmed by MSNBC or NBC News, coincides with a related article in the Wall Street Journal, which said that LaPierre was in discussions with Ackerman McQueen, the NRA’s ad firm, to help him buy the mansion shortly after the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.
LaPierre, according to the article, was “concerned about his security and was interested in another residence besides his publicly known address in northern Virginia.”
Not surprisingly, there’s considerable debate over the details of what allegedly transpired. Ackerman McQueen said LaPierre asked the firm for assistance, but it refused. The NRA claims Ackerman McQueen came up with the idea of buying the mansion as an investment, using the gun group’s money, and the organization balked.
The truth will likely emerge as the investigation moves forward, but these are hardly the first questions to come to light in recent months about how the NRA uses its funds.