The National Rifle Association suspended its chief lobbyist amid allegations that he conspired with the group’s former president in a “failed coup attempt,” against the head of the gun organization, it was revealed Thursday.
Chris Cox — the NRA’s second-in-command — allegedly worked with public relations firm Ackerman McQueen, ex-NRA president Oliver North and NRA board member Dan Boren to try to force out CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, a new lawsuit filed by the gun organization against North claimed.
The Manhattan Supreme Court suit filed late Wednesday says that emails and text messages showed that “Chris Cox—once thought by some to be a likely successor for Mr. LaPierre—participated in the Ackerman/North/Boren conspiracy.”
An NRA spokesperson told The New York Times that Cox was placed on administrative leave while they conduct an internal review.
In April, the NRA sued Ackerman — who has been working with the gun group in its public imaging since the 1980s — claiming the media firm was hiding information about how they were spending tens of millions they received from the NRA every year.
The newest suit claims that North — who still sits on the NRA board — is asking for the association to pay his legal bills related to subpoenas he’s received in ongoing lawsuits and a probe by the Senate Committee of Finance.
The NRA says they shouldn’t have to pay, since North incurred the costs because of his “own misconduct” in his attempt to blackmail LaPierre into resigning, the court papers say, the court documents say.
The suit also claims that North hid the particulars of his contract with Ackerman — who he began work with in May 2018 — which posed a conflict-of-interest in his position as president of the gun group, the court papers say.
North declined to comment.
A working number could not immediately be found for Cox.