NRA Trial Opens Window About Life and Work of Secret Leaders

Dallas (AP) — Wayne LaPierre flew on private jets only and sailed the Bahamas for “security”. He does not send emails or texts in the process of running the most politically influential gun rights group in the United States.

La Pierre’s testimony at the National Rifle Association’s High Stakes Bankruptcy Trial this week provided a rare window to the work and customs of the infamous secretive giant of the American firearms movement.

Rarely seen in public outside of choreographed speeches and television appearances, the 71-year-old was dull and sometimes combative under the question of a lawyer. He took the position of a virtual witness in a federal proceeding over whether NRA should be allowed to be incorporated in Texas instead of New York. Another effort is appealing to disband the group About alleged financial abuse.

Lapierre’s testimony revealed that he was a perplexed executive who defended his leadership and counterattacked what he characterized as a political attack by New York Attorney General Letitia James. But he also tried to admit enough mistakes and course corrections to avoid passing the NRA’s reins to a court-appointed supervisor — the move he said had five million members. It will be a fatal blow to the claiming 150-year-old group.

The· NRA declared bankruptcy in January Five months after James’s office filed a proceeding seeking dissolution on allegations that executives had misappropriated tens of millions of dollars for luxury personal travel, no-show contracts, and other suspicious spending.

The NRA, the submission of Chapter 11, is a legitimate ploy to facilitate the transition to Texas, a more gun-friendly state, and is needed by democratic politicians who have “weaponized” the state government. Claims to have been. Meanwhile, a lawyer at James’ office said it was an attempt by NRA leadership to avoid accountability for using the group’s financial resources as a piggy bank.

LaPierre was filmed in front of a court in Dallas on Wednesday and Thursday and was grilled by a lawyer at Ackerman McQueen, an advertising agency based in New York and Oklahoma City.

The question focuses on the management of Lapierre’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the legitimacy of bankruptcy filings. Without first notifying Most of the group’s top executives and their board of directors.

On Wednesday, a New York lawyer asked why a state investigation couldn’t find an email or text message from La Pierre.

“I’m old-fashioned,” he replied. “I haven’t sent any emails or text messages.”

Allegations of economic abuse and mismanagement have confused the NRA and threatened Lapierre’s seizure of power. Political disputes went public at the NRA’s 2019 Annual Meeting, and then President Oliver North was denied a second term. Tensions also ultimately led to the resignation of Chris Cox, who headed the group’s lobbying division, a man who was considered the successor to Lapierre.

Indeed, it is not uncommon for the CEO of an organization of NRA-sized organization to travel by private plane or in daily life beyond the means of most people. However, Lapierre claimed to be delinquent in NRA membership fees when the group was asking supporters to donate to secure enough cash to fight gun control efforts. ..

Board members and former NRA leaders supporting LaPierre did not respond to requests for comment and did not raise questions to NRA. Others skeptical of Lapierre’s leadership said the trial only reaffirmed their concerns.

“I’m looking for the next Wayne,” said Philip Journey, a Kansas judge and board member who will testify at next week’s trial. “This cannot last forever.”

LaPierre said Thursday that it kept the bankruptcy secret from the entire board. He was worried that someone in bankruptcy would leak his plans. “We were very worried,” he testified.

He is also within the authority to file for bankruptcy with the consent of the three special proceedings committees of the board, attacking James and New York’s financial regulators as “corrupted” and yes or no. He said he was lost repeatedly beyond. Ask a question to keep his record.

Efforts to explain Lapierre’s actions led to opposition lawyers working to strike from the record much of what he said after almost every question. He screamed from time to time, and his vast answers repeatedly elicited warnings from his own lawyers and judges.

“Can you answer the question asked, and can you understand what you said to you more than 12 times in the last two days?” Judge Harlin Hale asked Lapierre Thursday.

“I understand your honor. I apologize if I’m too long,” he replied.

However, LaPierre also showed a moment of regret and repeatedly referred to the NRA’s “self-correction.”

For example, he defended Bahamas summer sailing on a big yacht He borrowed from a Hollywood producer who did business with the NRA. LaPierre said family trips were a “security hideaway” and some came because they faced a threat months after the shootings.

But he admitted that it was overlooked not to mention a voyage in the form of a conflict of interest, claiming that the New York proceedings violated NRA’s policies.

“I now believe it should have been disclosed. That’s one of the mistakes I made,” he testified. ___

Associated Press writer Lisa Marie Presin, Boise, Idaho, contributed to this story.

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