Cox was head of NRA-ILA for 17 years, before being purged in 2019, after the scandals broke. He had a good reputation and none of the scandals related to his shop; ILA was a clean operation.
His deposition has a number of revelations:
He thought very little of Josh Powell, LaPierre’s Chief of Staff (p. 39-40).
He had little use for attorney Bill Brewer (p. 60-61).
Brewer falsely accused Cox of something (not described) (p. 76).
He details what happened on the important day before the 2019 annual meeting. (p. 156 and on). Director Dan Boren told Cox that Ackerman McQueen was going to release information very damaging to LaPierre. Cox told Boren to call Millie Hallow, LaPierre’s “right hand woman” and inform her. This was the best way to contact LaPierre at a meeting.
Cox was in the hotel room officers’ meeting later. He asked LaPierre if the accusations were true or not. (p. 166-167). He never suggested LaPierre resign, and never asked him to drop the lawsuit against Ackerman, which Cox thought was a good lawsuit. (p. 173-181). The attorney reads LaPierre’s testimony claiming Cox did both, and Cox says that is not true. “Wayne not — not remembering the conversation that took place accurately is the nicest way I could describe that.” He describes LaPierre’s claim that he was part of a conspiracy, indeed a criminal conspiracy, against LaPierre as “It’s offensive. It’s hurtful. But it’s absolutely not true.”
Angus McQueen had a “profound influence” over LaPierre. (p. 245). He typed a reminder note to himself, something to say to LaPierre, “You and I don’t run the organization; it’s you and Angus and Tony, and that’s okay.” (p. 249). Also in the notes, NRA’s problems, including “a PR firm in Texas and Oklahoma that’s more interesting in marketing to raise money than advertising to grow the brand.” Cox obviously was not a fan of Ackerman McQueen.
Conclusion: Cox’s testimony is that the entire story told the board was fabricated from the start. There was no conspiracy, no attempt at a coup. Ackerman was out to blackmail, yes, but there was no Ackerman-North-Boren-Cox plot. North, Boren, and Cox were people who were alerted to the threat the scandals posed to NRA, and were trying to find solutions.
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