Oliver North, key figure in Iran-Contra scandal, to head the NRA

The NRA announced the move in a statement Monday.

Outgoing NRA President Pete Brownell, who decided not to seek re-election, said in the statement that North is the right leader for the organization in what he called "these extraordinary times."

“Discussing this with Wayne LaPierre, he suggested we reach out to a warrior amongst our board members, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, to succeed me," Brownell wrote in a letter to the NRA board quoted in the statement. "Wayne and I feel that in these extraordinary times, a leader with history as a communicator and resolute defender of the Second Amendment is precisely what the NRA needs."

North, 74, said in the statement he is "honored to have been selected by the NRA Board to soon serve as this great organization’s president.”

He was found guilty for aiding and abetting the obstruction of Congress, accepting an illegal gift and shredding official documents. All charges were vacated in 1990 on the grounds that his congressional testimony, for which he was granted immunity, could have been used in such a way as to breach his right against self-incrimination.

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