Oliver North Stepping Down as National Rifle Association President

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Retired U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North will step down as president of the National Rifle Association, North said on Saturday, adding he was being forced out due to his allegations that NRA leaders engaged in financial improprieties.

In a letter to the organization’s annual meeting in Indianapolis read by an NRA board member, North, a conservative commentator best known for his central role in the 1980s Iran-Contra affair, said he had hoped to stand for re-election when his term ends on Monday.

“I am now informed that will not happen,” North said in the letter.

His departure came after NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre accused North of trying to oust him by threatening to release “damaging” information about him, according to a letter from LaPierre to NRA board members that was published by the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

NRA officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

North, 75, who was named by the NRA as its president in May 2018, was a pivotal figure in the Iran-Contra affair involving secret sales of arms to Iran by Republican President Ronald Reagan’s administration and the unlawful diversion of the proceeds to Nicaraguan rebels.

When he was appointed, LaPierre hailed him as “a legendary warrior for American freedom, a gifted communicator and skilled leader.”

North, long a hero to some on the political right, was convicted in 1989 of three felonies related to the Iran-Contra affair, but his convictions were overturned on appeal in 1990.

He later became a conservative radio talk show host and frequent commentator on conservative television networks.

On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the NRA’s annual meeting and vowed to revoke the United States’ status as a signatory of the Arms Trade Treaty.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Daniel Wallis in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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TOM
Member

Seems Oli has lived his whole life at the knife edge of controversy.

James
Member

Local television news on 4/28/2019 from CBS and FOX reports that Lt/Col. North was attempting to blackmail LaPierre. No specifics mentioned. LaPierre, as Executive VP, has run the NRA for many years in spite of the organization having a Board of Directors and a President. Time for him to go.

Peter B Min
Guest
Peter B Min

NRA must get their act together. They can start by cleaning out the upper echelon.

Otherwise, I am no longer supporting them.

James
Member

There is an apparent financial problem at the NRA based on what I read in their monthly magazine (“America’s 1st Freedom”) and the variety of gimmicks they’ve come up with to solicit more funds. However, like a lot of other organizations, their top “executives” are extremely well paid. Wayne LaPierre, NRA’s Executive VP received a salary upwards of $900,000 per year. Chris Cox, NRA-ILA most likely also receives a 6 figure salary. As a Life Member, I am constantly being harassed for $$$.

John Denney
Member

I gave up on the NRA the day they supported their first gun law. Defeats the whole point of the simple wording of the second amendment. I belong to GOA and FPC. Both are no compromise gun groups. The NRA is dead and if they have money corruption problems then the government will crucify them.

General Confusion
Member

Conservatives in a circular firing squad are so confusing.

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