NRA v. Ackerman, Texas

Ackerman’s Motion to Compel Documents and Motion for Sanctions

February 28, 2020

Filing Summary

This brief contains Ackerman McQueen’s request that the NRA produce documents pursuant to its subpoena. In addition to legal arguments as to why the NRA’s withholding of certain categories of documents is improper, the brief contains a number of factual and accusations.  

Key Points

  • The brief contains many strong allegations against NRA attorney William Brewer, including that the Brewer Firm “engaged in deeply personal and calculated attacks on the McQueen family…. at times that strategically coordinated with Angus [McQueen’s] medical treatment, his final family events, his declining health, and ultimately the period of grief following his death.”  Angus McQueen died of cancer in 2019. (p.l3-14)
  • Ackerman calls Brewer “a resentful son-in-law and business competitor acting in that capacity.” (p.8).  The brief also claims: “Brewer not only has access to decades of family history, he has collateral access to communications with McQueen family members, which, aside from clear ethical implications, hopelessly blurs the line between the professional and the personal interests at stake in this lawsuit.” (p.3)
  • The brief alleges, citing to redacted deposition testimony, that “the Brewer Firm itself appears to have been the orchestrator of the false extortion and conspiracy narratives.” (p.10)
  • Also citing to redacted deposition testimony, Ackerman alleges that “because Col. North challenged Brewer’s retention and payments, Brewer (through the NRA) targeted Col. North for removal through false claims of extortion, citing [Ackerman] as North’s co-conspirator.” (p.9)
  • Interestingly, Ackerman notes that “one member of the FRA audit team, Susan Dillon, was a 16-year employee of the Brewer firm, further suggesting that that this was far from an “independent audit” and instead another rogue request by Brewer and the Brewer Firm.” FRA was the entity that did an audit of the Ackerman – NRA relationship prior to the commencement of litigation.  (p.16-17)
  • With respect to former NRA Chief of Staff Josh Powell, Ackerman says that in late 2017, Powell told Ackerman. “Carry Guard is going to fail, and it’s going to be all [Ackerman’s] fault.”  The brief then says “as the months when by, [Ackerman] began suspecting that Powell’s threat had actually foreshadowed a plan to scapegoat” Ackerman. (p.19)
  • For the first time, the filing makes reference to NRA fundraising vendor Gurney Sloan.  Ackerman alleges that in 2018, the NRA asked Ackerman to consider “ways to monetize” NRATV, and that Ackerman provided suggestions.  “However, one of the NRA’s fundraising vendors, Gurney Sloan, became jealous of Ackerman’s monetization efforts and believed that [Ackerman] was encroaching on his ‘territory.’” (p.18)
  • The filing makes plain that both parties are seeking damages in excess of $50 million in the litigation. (p.2)