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NRA chief takes the stand, with cracks in his armor

Mr. LaPierre is looking to use bankruptcy to help reincorporate the NRA into the most gun-friendly state of Texas, and has already paid the NRA around $ 300,000 as he seeks to keep his job. When asked if he had been penalized for spending the money badly, he replied: “Yes, I was disciplined, I paid him back”, suggesting that at the NRA, discipline returns. sometimes to refund money after being caught.

It remains to be seen whether his bankruptcy strategy will work. To persuade Judge Hale that the NRA’s petition should be dismissed in a trial that began last week, attorneys for Attorney General Letitia James and a major creditor – the former advertising company of the NRA, Ackerman McQueen – presented evidence which they said showed Mr. LaPierre had filed for bankruptcy protection in bad faith.

Proving that a deposit was made in bad faith can be difficult because it means showing intent. But Deputy Attorney General Monica Connell argued that Mr LaPierre did not have the power to bankrupt the NRA on his own and used a “convoluted” ploy to trick his board into unwittingly granting the authorization required.

Rather than submitting a bankruptcy resolution to the board, Ms. Connell said, Mr. LaPierre’s team asked the board to vote on a new employment contract for him. It sounded like a reform measure, as she was lowering her golden parachute.

But the contract contained a low-key provision giving Mr. LaPierre “unlimited” power to “reorganize or restructure the affairs of the Association for the purposes of cost minimization, regulatory compliance or otherwise”.

The new contract was first presented to a committee of the NRA board in a closed session on January 7. There weren’t enough copies to go around, and no one could walk away with a copy. NRA officials said council members had ample time to conduct a review.

By that time, Mr. LaPierre’s main outside lawyer, the law firm William A. Brewer III, had spent months planning bankruptcy, racking up millions of dollars in legal fees. But no one told the council about it. After the committee exited its closed session, the board approved the contract, unaware that it had given the power to bankrupt Mr. LaPierre.

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