National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre claims that former Iran-Contra figure and NRA President Oliver North is extorting him.
The bombshell allegation was revealed Thursday in a letter released to NRA board members, The Wall Street Journal reported.
LaPierre, who also serves as executive vice president of the gun-rights group, claims to have refused to give in to the blackmail demand.
In part, LaPierre’s letter read: “[Wednesday] evening, I was forced to confront one of those defining choices — styled, in the parlance of extortionists, as an offer I couldn’t refuse. I refused it. Delivered by a member of our Board on behalf of his employer, the exhortation was simple: resign or there will be destructive allegations made against me and the NRA. Alarmed and disgusted, I refused the offer.”
LaPierre adds, “Unless I resigned as the Executive Vice President of the Association,” an “allegedly damning letter” would be released to the entire NRA Board that would cast him in a negative light.
The ongoing battle between North and LaPierre appears to go back to a dispute between the NRA and its advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen Inc., which resulted in a lawsuit filed by the NRA, the Journal reported. The lawsuit asserts the ad agency has refused to provide billing records to the NRA — a claim it called “frivolous” and “inaccurate.”
LaPierre’s letter also alleges North was paid millions of dollars by Ackerman McQueen for the documentary series Oliver North’s American Heroes.
While 12 episodes were commissioned, only three have been delivered, said LaPierre, who demands to know what the NRA is paying for “in light of these production shortfalls.”
LaPierre then asserts the ad firm “appears to have responded indirectly by trying to oust me.”
The NRA had no comment as of late Friday evening.
Its 76-member board is scheduled to meet Monday at the group’s annual meeting in Indianapolis.