Senate Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee told the NRA and its PR firm to turn over all records related to allegations of self-dealing as they probe the group’s nonprofit status, The Washington Post reports.
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse gave the NRA, NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre, former NRA President Oliver North, and longtime NRA PR firm Ackerman McQueen until May 16 to turn over all letters, third-party audits, memos, and other materials.
The Senate panel is reviewing the NRA’s tax-exempt status after numerous reports of self-dealing at the organization amid a messy internal spat.
NRA counsel William Brewer told The Washington Post that the group will “cooperate with all appropriate information requests.”
The group is also under investigation by the attorney general of New York, where the NRA is based.
Probe comes amid internal NRA drama:
Last week, North announced he would not seek a second term as president of the group after LaPierre publicly accused him of trying to extort him. LaPierre wrote in a letter to NRA board members that North threatened to expose damaging information about him unless LaPierre stepped down, which he refused to do.
North alleged financial mismanagement at the group and said he had created a committee to look into the NRA’s finances to avoid losing tax-exempt status. LaPierre said that North had a conflict of interest because he was being paid by both the NRA and Ackerman McQueen, which operates NRA TV.
Probes center on ties between NRA and its PR firm:
“In 2017, the NRA paid Ackerman $40 million, according to a lawsuit the organization filed against the firm earlier this year that alleges Ackerman refused to abide by a services agreement. The NRA is seeking records including documents relating to how much Ackerman paid North,” The Washington Post reported.
“New York Attorney General Letitia James has opened an investigation into the tax-exempt status of the organization, which is chartered in New York. James has issued subpoenas and sent letters Friday telling the NRA, its charitable foundation and other affiliated organizations to preserve their financial records,” the report added.