Jason Ouimet was appointed to take Cox’s position as head of NRA-ILA. As has been explained to me, he then started to search for a general counsel who would have his back and who would protect the NRA-ILA from Bill Brewer’s depredations. He went outside the Second Amendment world and hired Wade Callender who had served as a trial attorney, a Judge Advocate in the Navy, and for eight years as a general counsel in the software industry.
It appears Wade did his job too well. He protected the NRA-ILA from those outside forces such as Brewer whose goals and aims were inconsistent with the purpose of the organization. Unlike John Frazer at the NRA, he did his job as a good general counsel should therefore he was a threat.
Today a memo went out from Jason Ouimet saying that Wade will be leaving the position effective Labor Day. There was the typical mumbo-jumbo about Wade wanted to seek new opportunities and that he wanted to remain in Texas where he had been working during COVID. Ouimet did say that Wade “improved legal operations, saved millions and his counsel to me as Executive Director has been invaluable.” He is also being credited with shepherding the NYSRPA v. Bruen case through the Supreme Court.
This is bad news for the NRA-ILA. Bill Brewer has had his sights set on the ILA’s Second Amendment budget for a long time. It is another pot of money from which he can get legal fees. Wade stood in his way and now Ouimet has cracked open the door for Brewer.
Not only will the ILA not have a General Counsel who could and would stand up to Brewer but their long-time litigation counsel Chris Conte passed away in 2021. Conte was the one responsible for developing cases which then would work their way up to the appellate level.
As should be self-evident by now, Brewer and his firm are not qualified to handle Second Amendment cases. The few minor 2A cases in which he has been involved have either been dropped or dismissed. To make matters worse, qualified Second Amendment lawyers like Charles Cooper of Cooper & Kirk were purged for “disloyalty” in 2019. I have even heard rumors that Brewer thought he should have been the one to bring the NYSRPA case to the Supreme Court and not Paul Clement. Even the thought of that makes me cringe.
I’m sure we will hear more on this in the coming days as the Annual Meeting approaches at the end of May. When we do, I’ll be reporting it.