Former top NRA lobbyist Chris Cox denied recently that he used more than $1 million in donor dollars for personal benefit.
In a 2019 tax document filed last month, the organization that used to pay him roughly $1.5 million per year said it “became aware” that Cox improperly used funds to “pay personal expenses charged on his personal credit card, amounting to unauthorized interest-free advances to himself.”
Cox, who headed the lobbying arm of the organization, NRA-ILA, was also accused of misusing funds for “personal and family travel, business trips utilizing unapproved charter or first class travel, tickets to sporting/entertainment events, and meals and hotel expenses which were not approved by the NRA.”
NRA attorney William A. Brewer III told Rolling Stone that the gun lobby is now “pursuing reimbursement from Mr. Cox for lavishing himself with benefits to which it believes he was not entitled.”
“Mr. Cox regularly indulged in luxury hotel stays, private flights, and tickets to sporting events – all without approval and all at the expense of NRA members,” said Brewer.
Brewer, who has been paid handsomely by NRA — a reported $54 million over the past two years — said getting Cox to pony up for the excess benefits he received during his tenure demonstrates the organization’s “commitment to good governance.”
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Via his attorney, Thomas M. Buchanan, Cox denied any wrongdoing.
“The statements in the NRA’s 2019 Form 990 suggesting that Chris Cox was improperly reimbursed for personal expenses are false,” Buchanan told Rolling Stone.
“Most of the expenses referenced in the Form 990 relate to season tickets for local sports teams that the NRA used for over 20 years to promote the NRA with political allies, vendors, members, and donors,” Buchanan continued. “Mr. Cox’s travel—which at times required heightened security arrangements—was likewise approved through the appropriate channels and was never questioned during his 24-years at the NRA.”
As GunsAmerica reported last week, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre was also listed in the tax filing as someone who received “excess benefits” over the years.
However, NRA claims that LaPierre has “corrected” the imbalance, cutting a check back to the organization for $300,000 to pay for unauthorized travel expenses from 2015-2019.