The National Rifle Association appears to have been caught in a lie over an attempt to buy a $6 million mansion for CEO Wayne LaPierre.
“Not a cent of NRA money was ultimately spent,” the right-wing political organization said about the effort to buy the "10,000 square foot French country estate with lakefront and golf course views."
That is not true, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.
"In May 2018, the National Rifle Association sent a $70,000 check to an obscure Delaware entity called WBB Investments LLC, which had been incorporated a week earlier," The Journal reported. "The check, a copy of which was obtained by The Wall Street Journal, raises new questions about the NRA’s attempts to explain a tangled transaction involving its then-outside advertising agency and an abortive plan to purchase a $6 million Dallas mansion for NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre."
The story of the mansion came out during the battle between the NRA and their former ad agency, Ackerman McQueen.
"Mr. LaPierre and his wife, Susan, twice visited the house—a 10,000-square-foot residence in a gated golf community—and were preparing to put down $70,000 in earnest money to make an offer, according to people familiar with this version of the transaction," the newspaper reported.
Washington nonprofit law attorney Elizabeth Kingsley explained the importance of the check.
"If there’s a check from the NRA to an LLC, that doesn’t seem consistent with a story that Ackerman was going to pay for it,” Kingsley said.
The NRA attempted to downplay the existence of the payment by branding it only a "nominal payment" -- while admitting their claim about not spending a cent was inaccurate.
“During the formative stages of an arrangement being driven by Ackerman McQueen, the NRA made a nominal payment to help facilitate the process for a real estate transaction that was supposedly being undertaken by Ackerman McQueen following the Parkland tragedy," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.
The attempt to purchase the mansion is reportedly being investigated by the New York Attorney General.
LaPierre's salary in 2017 was $1.37 million.