Because the N.F.L. was investigating his staff for widespread office misconduct, Washington Commanders proprietor Daniel Snyder directed a “shadow investigation” to intrude with and undermine its findings, a Congressional committee discovered.
At Snyder’s behest, his authorized staff used non-public investigators to harass and intimidate witnesses, and created a 100-page file focusing on victims, witnesses and journalists who had shared “credible public accusations of harassment” towards the staff.
The Home Committee on Oversight and Reform launched a 29-page memo on Wednesday that detailed the findings of its eight-month probe into how the Commanders and the N.F.L. dealt with claims of rampant sexual harassment of the staff’s feminine workers. The report got here forward of a listening to the place the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, was anticipated to seem and face questioning. Snyder declined two requests to seem, citing a “longstanding enterprise battle.”
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, the chairwoman of the committee, wrote that it uncovered proof that Snyder sought to discredit those that had made claims towards the staff and to create “an exculpatory narrative” that Snyder was to not blame for the misconduct, which was alleged to have taken place from 2006 to 2019, virtually the whole tenure of his possession.
To that finish, Snyder and his attorneys additionally gathered hundreds of emails from Bruce Allen, who was the staff’s president from 2009 to 2019, in an effort to cross duty for the creation of a poisonous work surroundings, and sought to affect the N.F.L. investigation by way of direct entry to the league and Beth Wilkinson, the lawyer who led the league’s probe, per the memo.
Snyder’s representatives didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
The N.F.L. was conscious of Snyder’s actions, the memo mentioned, “however didn’t take significant steps to stop them.” Wilkinson’s probe led the league to impose a $10 million team fine on Snyder and had him step again from the membership’s day-to-day operations, however the N.F.L. didn’t ask Wilkinson to arrange a written report, a call that has drawn scrutiny both from elected officials and former staff workers who participated within the investigation.
Goodell will inform the committee right this moment that the league had “compelling causes” to restrict the Wilkinson report back to an oral briefing, specifically to protect the confidentiality of its contributors. “We now have been open and direct about the truth that the office tradition on the Commanders was not solely unprofessional, however poisonous for a lot too lengthy,” Goodell mentioned in ready testimony.
The committee, which mentioned its intention was each to look at failings by the Commanders and the N.F.L. and to strengthen office protections for all workers, will current its findings at Wednesday’s listening to. The N.F.L. launched a second investigation into the Commanders earlier this yr, in response to a brand new allegation of sexual harassment made towards Snyder in a February congressional roundtable. Goodell has mentioned that the findings of that investigation, led by lawyer Mary Jo White, might be made public.
The committee’s memo additionally cites further examples of Snyder’s direct position in making a office that Goodell acknowledged was marked by widespread disrespect and harassment. The staff’s former chief working officer advised the committee that Snyder “refused to take motion” towards a coach who allegedly groped a public relations worker and fired feminine staffers who engaged in consensual relationships with male soccer operations workers, whereas the boys stored their jobs.