1-2-3 punch…no NRATV…No Chris Cox, now former lobbyist for NRA…and lawsuits…at least 4 lawsuits.
The NRA has struggled under both scrutiny from the outside for its connections to Russia’s interference in American politics and from internal divisions over its leadership and its finances.
The latest developments took place Wednesday when the gun rights group’s CEO, Wayne LaPierre, announced that the NRA’s online channel NRATV would stop broadcasting live programming.
He cited costs, return on investment and the direction of the content.
LaPierre also blamed Ackerman McQueen, the Oklahoma-based advertising firm overseeing television production. Despite a decades-long relationship between Ackerman McQueen and the NRA, allegations of financial impropriety have led to a contentious legal dispute.
NRA’s top lobbyist steps down
Chris Cox, the NRA’s top lobbyist in Washington, D.C., resigned after nearly 25 years, multiple sources told NPR. As the head of the NRA’s lobbying arm, he was considered one of the most powerful figures in the capital.
Cox has worked at the organization since 1995, and has been the NRA’s top lobbyist since 2002.
He had been suspended after being accused of contributing to the effort to oust LaPierre, an allegation he denies. Friedman, the board member, said he was surprised to learn that Cox had quit.
NRA finances under scrutiny
Under LaPierre, the gun rights group is facing allegations of financial misconduct. LaPierre countered that people inside the NRA and Ackerman were trying to oust him.
Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill. a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, told NPR that he was launching an investigation into whether wrongdoing has occurred and “whether these activities warrant reconsideration of the NRA’s tax-exempt status.”
He sent a letter to LaPierre on Wednesday afternoon demanding financial documents and correspondence related to LaPierre’s claim that former NRA president Oliver North tried to force him to resign, among other items.
At least three congressional committees are investigating the NRA, in addition to a probe launched by New York Attorney General Letitia James.