Monday June 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday released a 29-page memo detailing some of the preliminary findings of its monthslong investigation into the Washington Commanders, including evidence that owner Daniel Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” in an apparent attempt to influence an NFL probe.

In the memo, Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) writes that lawyers for Snyder compiled a “dossier” containing telephone records and social media posts by former employees who had publicly accused the Commanders of fostering a toxic workplace culture – as well as some of the journalists who amplified those claims.

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Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder.

The memo also outlines what it says were attempts by Snyder to influence the NFL’s investigation into the matter, which was led by attorney Beth Wilkinson.

Snyder’s team obtained inappropriate emails sent by former team president Bruce Allen and passed them along to the league to “offer up an alternative target for the investigation,” according to the memo.

“Mr. Snyder went to considerable lengths as part of his shadow investigation to undermine the Wilkinson Investigation, including by attempting to discredit accusers, intimidate witnesses, and shift blame to others,” Maloney wrote in the memo. 

“Unfortunately, because the NFL declined to release detailed findings from the internal investigation, the full extent of misconduct at the team is not publicly known.”

The memo was released hours before the Oversight Committee’s scheduled hearing on the matter, where NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was slated to testify remotely. Snyder was also invited to testify but declined.

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The hearing comes almost a year after the NFL released a summary of the key findings in the Wilkinson investigation and levied a $10 million fine against the Commanders. It did not release a written report on the findings, however, nor suspend or punish Snyder.

Goodell has said the league decided not to release a detailed written report on the findings of Wilkinson’s investigation to protect the privacy of former team employees. Several of the employees who participated in the investigation have since lobbied the NFL to release a written report and claimed the league is trying to cover for Snyder.

Wednesday’s memo states that the NFL was briefed on the Commanders investigation 16 times by Wilkinson’s team, and that Snyder also received “periodic updates” during the course of the probe. It also details a common interest agreement between the team and the league that it says created “a back-channel to block the release of information and make confidential presentations designed to steer the course of the investigation.”

The memo, sent by Maloney to other members of the House Oversight Committee, also includes new allegations of the toxic workplace culture within the team, which it portrays as being facilitated by Snyder. 

According to the memo, the team’s former chief operating officer David Pauken testified that when Snyder was told that a female public relations staffer had been groped by a coach, Snyder simply directed the public relations staffer to “stay away from the coach.”

A spokesperson for Snyder did not immediately reply to a message seeking comment Wednesday morning.

Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.


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