The NRA appears to be covering the personal legal fees of its top executive, an internal document obtained by The Reload shows.
Philip K. Correll, the personal lawyer of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, appeared on a list of outstanding payments billed to the group. The document disclosed that Correll billed the organization for $174,189 at some point during August 2021.
The payments underscore the scope of legal expenses that the organization continues to incur. The group’s financial report shows that legal fees make up nearly 20 percent of its expenses, its second-largest source of spending behind membership outreach and retention. It also showed that the group now spends on lawyers ten times what it spends on education and training, competitive shooting, law enforcement, community engagement, the NRA Range, NRA Firearms Museum, and school security combined.
The NRA did not respond to a request for comment on payments to Correll specifically. Amy Hunter, director of NRA Media Relations, previously told The Reload the report was “outdated” and “unaudited,” but positive overall for the organization.
“Naturally, the NRA is not inclined to discuss non-public business strategies with those outside the organization,” she said. “In any event, the NRA report is, as objective observers agree, very positive.”
She also addressed the group’s legal spending more broadly, saying that it was necessary to defend the interests of NRA members.
“With respect to legal fees, we are defending the interests of our members against people who portray them as terrorists and criminals,” she said. “The NYAG called the NRA a ‘terrorist organization’ and a ‘criminal enterprise’ before she was even elected – without a shred of evidence to support her claims.”
Filings with a New York court show that Correll became LaPierre’s counsel in September of 2020, in the midst of the corruption suit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D.). LaPierre is a named defendant in the lawsuit. He stands accused of using millions of dollars in NRA money for exotic trips, extravagant shopping sprees, and other personal expenses.
Correll also has personal ties to Bill Brewer, outside legal counsel for the NRA and mastermind behind many of its legal maneuvers in recent years. Reporting from The Trace found that Correll once worked for Brewer’s New York law office and that the two reportedly work closely with one another on strategy despite representing distinct clients.