According to a new report by the New York Times, a major NRA donor concerned the NRA is “decaying” is leading an insurgency among other top donors in order to oust senior leadership at the organization, including executive vice president Wayne LaPierre. Meanwhile, Politico reports today that the “NRA meltdown has [the] Trump campaign sweating,” over whether the group will be able to make an impact in the 2020 election.
David Dell’Aquila, a Nashville-based retired technology consultant who has given roughly $100,000 to the NRA and pledged “the bulk of an estate worth several million dollars,” told the New York Times that until LaPierre and his senior leadership team step down, he will suspend donations. And Dell’Aquila says he’s part of “a network of wealthy N.R.A. donors who would cumulatively withhold more than $134 million in pledges” over the problems at the organization.
Though Dell’Aquila “declined to provide a list of the other donors”, a second prominent donor, “who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is a senior firearms industry executive, said he was also suspending a plan to give more than $2 million from his estate, as well as halting other donations, and was backing Mr. Dell’Aquila’s effort.”
“The donors are rebelling,” the executive said, adding that he believed that the leadership turmoil was ‘helping to destroy, temporarily, the strength of the N.R.A. as one of the strongest lobbying groups.’
“The extent of any rebellion is difficult to discern, and the N.R.A. insisted it still had the firm backing of its donor base. Mr. LaPierre has also retained the support of the N.R.A.’s 76-member board, with fewer than a handful of public defections, and it would take a two-thirds vote to oust him. But there have been signs of wavering grass-roots support, including a recent announcement by Greg Kinman, a gun enthusiast with more than four million followers on YouTube, that he was cutting ties with the N.R.A.
“The turmoil of recent months has already stoked fear among some Republicans that the N.R.A.’s political potency could be blunted heading into the 2020 elections. In a tweet early Tuesday morning, President Trump assailed the investigation by the New York attorney general, Letitia James, saying the N.R.A. was ‘a victim of harassment by the A.G.’”
Dell’Aquila expressed a number of concerns, including the connections between an NRA leader and Maria Butina, the Russian who pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as a foreign agent, a senior NRA executive having an interest in an outside company that had received $18 million from the NRA and allegations that the NRA’s former longtime chief financial officer embezzled over $1 million from his previous employer.
The recent revelations about the NRA have the “Trump campaign sweating,” according to a new Politico report. Chris LaCivita, a national GOP strategist said, “Infighting and accusations playing out almost daily in the national media regarding the NRA have not been helpful. Clearly it will have an impact in the NRA’s ability to raise money, which would be used in elections to turn out its membership.”