Four members of the National Rifle Association’s board of directors sent a letter on Tuesday demanding that the gun group hire outside investigators to probe accusations of financial impropriety at the nonprofit, in the latest sign of fracturing at the country’s premiere gun lobby.
Addressed to NRA President Carolyn Meadows, the letter comes from four members of the nonprofit’s 76-member board. NRA chief Wayne LaPierre has reportedly been clamping down on dissent on the board by stripping members of their access to key committees and purging others deemed disloyal.
The board members who sent the letter are Soldier of Fortune magazine publisher Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown, gun activist Timothy Knight, motivational speaker Sean Maloney, and NRA fundraiser Esther Schneider.
The letter demands an internal investigation as well as the creation of an independent committee to probe the allegations of self-dealing, with a focus on the NRA’s law firm Brewer & Associates.
The board members cite a recent court filing made by former NRA President Oliver North, who is fending off a lawsuit in New York State court from the NRA that accuses North of fomenting a coup at the organization. North responded with a counterclaim that accused LaPierre of wielding “dictatorial control” over the NRA.
The board members write that North’s claims in the lawsuit “compel” them “to act” because they are “legally bound by” a fiduciary duty of care to the organization.
“With this degree of scrutiny and transparency, the Board can fulfill our legal obligations, remove all doubt regarding our Association’s direction, and allow us to return to our mission of protecting our Second Amendment,” the letter reads.
In a statement to TPM, Meadows said that the letter was “a contrived controversy being recycled by those who supported Col. North and his employer, Ackerman McQueen, in their efforts to extort Wayne LaPierre.”
The members sent the letter as high-dollar NRA fundraisers coalesce around donor David Dell’aquila, who is leading what he describes as a “movement” to convince NRA members to strike large bequeathals to the nonprofit from their wills.