source: MSN/The Daily Beast
The NRA has racked up huge legal bills over the last year that threaten to debilitate the organization, according to documents posted anonymously online that appear to be written by the group’s ex-president Oliver North. The bills highlight the organization’s extraordinary legal challenges. A person close to the matter confirmed the authenticity of the documents to The Daily Beast. Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon was the first reporter to flag the documents on Friday.
Senior NRA officials disputed the documents’ claims but not their authenticity.
The documents include a confidential memo that North and NRA official Richard Childress sent to the NRA’s general counsel and audit committee chairman, dated April 18, 2019—the week before North was dramatically deposed as NRA president. (The NRA suspended its board’s longtime lawyer at the same time.) In the memo, North claimed to be “deeply concerned about the extraordinary legal fees the NRA has incurred” from outside attorney Bill Brewer. North and Childress then called for an independent review of Brewer’s invoices. Brewer has defended his fees in the past, telling the Wall Street Journal, “We’re a premium law firm, we make no bones about that.”
Lawyers for North did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reached by phone, Childress declined to comment.
“The Brewer invoices are draining NRA cash at mindboggling speed,” North and Childress wrote, adding that the fees “pose an existential threat to the financial stability of the NRA.”
“This is a fiscal emergency,” they continued, “yet we have been unable to get management to engage an outside, independent review to ensure these bills are necessary and reasonable.”
The memo says Brewer charged the NRA $24,324,290 since they engaged him last year, and that some of that had been reimbursed as part of a settlement of litigation against an insurance company—leaving the NRA to pay $18.5 million.