NRA Suspends its Second-in-Command, Chris Cox, Claiming He Sought CEO Wayne LaPierre’s Ouster
A new report by the New York Times’ Danny Hakim reveals a shocking new development in the ongoing saga of the NRA’s inner turmoil, questionable financial transactions and apparent self-dealing. According to the New York Times, in a new legal complaint against former NRA President Oliver North, the NRA has accused the executive director of its Institute for Legislative Action, Chris Cox, of complicity in what they have previously described as a failed coup against the NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. Hakim reports that the NRA has suspended Cox. In the complaint, the NRA said Cox was “once thought by some to be a likely successor for Mr. LaPierre.”
- “The palace intrigue at the National Rifle Association deepened on Thursday as the gun group suspended its second-in-command and top lobbyist, accusing him of complicity in the recent failed coup against its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre.”
- “The accusation came in a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against Oliver North, the N.R.A.’s former president, who led the attempt to oust Mr. LaPierre shortly before the group’s annual convention in April. The complaint provides fresh detail about the effort against Mr. LaPierre, but it is the involvement of the organization’s No. 2 official, Christopher, W. Cox, that will reverberate.
- “In the suit, the N.R.A. said that text messages and emails demonstrated that ‘another errant N.R.A. fiduciary, Chris Cox — once thought by some to be a likely successor for Mr. LaPierre — participated’ in what was described as a conspiracy.
- “The court filing includes text exchanges in which Mr. Cox and a board member appear to be discussing an effort to oust Mr. LaPierre, though the full context is unclear.
Cox responded in a statement: “The allegations against me are offensive and patently false. For over 24 years I have been a loyal and effective leader in this organization. My efforts have always been focused on serving the members of the National Rifle Association, and I will continue to focus all of my energy on carrying out our core mission of defending the Second Amendment.”
Jennifer Baker, who is an NRA-ILA spokesman, also defended Cox, saying Cox and LaPierre “worked closely together for a quarter of a century, and any notion that Chris participated in a coup is absurd. Chris Cox is known as a calming force who always acts in the best interests of our members by effectively defending the Second Amendment, so it’s not surprising that board members would reach out to him for advice during tumultuous times.”