03:24 - Source: CNN
NRA in turmoil amid investigation and leadership shift
CNN —  

The National Rifle Association re-elected longtime CEO Wayne LaPierre to his leadership position on Monday as it confirmed a replacement for NRA President Oliver North.

The moves on Monday appeared to cap a weekend of controversy for the organization, which saw the opening of an investigation into the group as its top leaders engaged in a struggle for control.

Over the weekend, a dispute between North and LaPierre, NRA CEO and executive vice president, spilled into public view, and North said in a letter read to NRA members on Saturday that he had been “informed” he would not receive a second term as president of the gun rights group.

An NRA official confirmed to CNN on Monday that LaPierre had been re-elected to his post and Carolyn Meadows had been elected president. The official added that the votes for both were unanimous and unopposed.

“United we stand,” LaPierre said. “The NRA Board of Directors, our leadership team, and our more than 5 million members will come together as never before in support of our country’s constitutional freedoms. The challenges ahead of us are our greatest opportunities – confronting our adversaries, defending the Association, and continuing our tradition as the greatest civil rights organization in the world.”

According to an NRA document from its 2018 annual meeting, Meadows was elected to the board of directors in 2003, among other roles with the NRA, and has a history of positions in the Republican Party.

The NRA named North – whose name is synonymous with the Reagan-era Iran-Contra scandal – its president last year as it grappled with a renewed push for gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

But as the group gathered for its annual meeting last Friday, the news broke that LaPierre, a longtime NRA executive and public face of the group, had told the organization’s board he was being extorted and pressured to resign by North.

LaPierre said he was refusing to step down, and North, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, told the board he was forming a crisis committee to look at the organization’s finances. The Journal reported further that North had told the board’s executive committee that LaPierre had charged more than $200,000 in wardrobe purchases to a vendor.

The following day, North told NRA members through a letter read during the annual meeting that he had hoped to be renominated for a second term but had since been “informed that will not happen.”

Amid the unfolding controversy, the New York attorney general’s office confirmed it had issued subpoenas in an investigation launched into the NRA. On Monday, President Donald Trump sought to punch back at New York for probing the NRA and accused the office and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of illegally trying to take down the gun rights group. Cuomo dismissed Trump’s claim in a statement and said the state was “not afraid to stand up to the NRA.”

CNN’s Devan Cole, Kate Sullivan and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.