The National Rifle Association has suspended Chris Cox, one of their top lobbyists and one of his deputies in regards to accusations being tied to a failed coup. Cox was thought by many to be a “likely successor” in leadership for the group.
In April, Oliver North, the former NRA board president, was accused of leading a coup against Wayne LaPierre, who has served as the executive vice president of the NRA for many years. According to North, LaPierre didn’t deserve his position, as he was using it to benefit himself.
North was given leave of his position shortly after the accusations were made. And Wednesday, the NRA filed a lawsuit against him in which they claim he does not have any rights to legal fees from the organization.
According to the lawsuit, North called LaPierre’s aid on April 24th and threatened to make known details about the group leader’s clothing and travel expenses unless he resigned and gave assistance to “North’s continued tenure as president.”
LaPierre was also promised an “excellent retirement” from North is he went along with the plan. His retirement would be funded by Ackerman McQueen, the NRA’s advertising firm, suggesting that North had contracts in place with the former board president.
Ackerman McQueen was sued by the NRA in mid-April based on claims that they had refused hand over details about the contract they had with North. And last month, the NRA sued them again, claiming that the company had purposefully leaked harmful financial information about NRA leaders in an effort to stage the coup.
In a breach-of-contract countersuit, Ackerman McQueen says the NRA is using the lawsuit to simply get out of the service agreement in place with the firm. They also claim they have given the NRA everything it has asked for and has cut all ties to them.
Working with North against LaPierre is NRA board member Dan Boren. Boren, who is a former congressman, is now the top executive for Chickasaw Nation, a prominent client of Ackerman McQueen. According to the NRA, Boren “helped to choreograph the ultimatum they presented to Mr. LaPierre.”
Proof of Boren’s assistance was found in emails where he “admitted his knowledge that Ackerman may have been invoicing the NRA for full salaries of employees who were actually working in the Chickasaw Nation account.”
In addition, those emails give evidence that Cox and his deputy chief of staff, Scott Christman were involved with coup as well. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Cox’s spokeswoman claims he had no part in the attempted coup.
According to the NRA’s website, “Cox develops and executes independent political campaigns and legislative initiatives. He also serves as the Association’s principal contact with the United States Senate and House of Representatives, the White House and federal agencies.”
North’s attorney has demanded that the NRA be responsible for all legal fees that have come about due to the suit and its “inquiries” received now and in the future. However, the NRA has asked the judge that they not be made to cover those legal fees, including subpoenas and the request of information by the Senate Finance Committee.