Wayne LaPierre’s brain is shrinking, and he is too ill to commit to all-day testimony in his NRA corruption trial, new court filing says
- The NRA civil corruption trial just wrapped its second week of testimony in New York.
- Longtime leader Wayne LaPierre is due to testify as early as next week.
- This week, his lawyer said LaPierre is too ill to commit to full days of testimony.
Longtime NRA leader Wayne LaPierre is too ill to commit to all-day testimony in his ongoing corruption trial in New York, his lawyer said in a court document made public Friday.
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LaPierre will step down from the NRA’s helm at the end of January due to chronic Lyme disease, his defense has said. In the new filing, his lawyer asked the trial judge for a “reasonable accommodation” allowing the nonprofit’s leader flexibility in testifying.
LaPierre is expected to be called to the witness stand by the New York state attorney’s office as early as next week. But he may be too “fatigued” to withstand full days of testimony and may need to break up his time on the witness stand into multiple shorter days, his lawyer said.
His symptoms include “cognitive decline” due to “significant cerebral volume loss,” one doctor wrote this month, according to a letter included in the filing written by his doctor, Sam Pappas.
LaPierre has attended roughly half of the trial so far; on Tuesday, a column in his name was published on the NRA website. It warned of “enormous peril facing America” — a “danger” that comes not from “warped” efforts at gun control.
“Mr. LaPierre’s health has been slowly deteriorating these last few years,” his internal-medicine physician of six years, Dr. Pappas, wrote in the letter included in the new court filing, which was addressed to NRA President Charles Cotton on January 3.
“In August 2022, he had worsening headaches, and a CT Head was done, which demonstrated significant cerebral volume loss and chronic small vessel ischemic changes,” Pappas wrote.
LaPierre suffers from “significant headaches and joint pain” and has a “family history of dementia,” along with “overall cognitive changes and deterioration,” the doctor wrote.
“Work stressors” have complicated his health, the doctor added.
LaPierre “struggles with copious physical and mental conditions, such as cognitive dysfunction, enervation/fatigue, painful/blurry eyes (resulting from cognitive impairments and engender brain-eye dissonance), dyssomnia, myalgias, dysautonomia (postural orthostasis), mononeuritis multiplex, dermatitis, and headaches,” according to a second doctor, Rachel Markey, whose January 3 letter to Cotton was also included in the new filing.
Since early January, LaPierre “has been undergoing intensive treatment involving multiple medications,” LaPierre’s lawyer, Kent Correll, wrote to the trial judge in the filing, which requests a flexible testimony schedule.
“As described in the letters, the symptoms of his condition fluctuate so that there are days when he has energy and can focus, and there are days when he has extreme fatigue, lack of focus, and pain, especially in the eyes,” Correll wrote to New York Supreme Court Justice Joel Cohen.
“For this reason, I would ask that consideration be made for the length of time he is asked to sit on any given day and, depending on how he is feeling, the option of substituting other witnesses on a particular day, if necessary, until his symptoms subside,” Correll wrote.
Both doctors recommended in their letters that LaPierre stop working.
He will remain at the helm of the NRA for another two weeks, according to a statement he released announcing his medical retirement.