Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder and his attorneys have launched a ‘shadow investigation’ to influence the NFL’s internal investigation into team misconduct and to discredit victims and witnesses, findings say of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform inquiry.
Why is this important: The oversight committee released its findings Wednesday ahead of an NFL workplace misconduct hearing, where Snyder declined to testify over due process concerns.
- Snyder has been accused of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment among commanders. He denied such allegations.
What they say : “Mr. Snyder’s lawyers used their shadow investigation to create a 100-slide dossier of private emails, text messages, phone records and social media posts from journalists, victims and witnesses who had reported credible public accusations of harassment against commanders,” the oversight committee said.
- “Mr. Snyder’s lawyers had direct access to the NFL and the law firm conducting the investigation, and secretly shared information from their shadow investigation in an apparent attempt to influence the Wilkinson investigation,” a he said, referring to DC attorney Beth Wilkinson, who is leading the league’s internal investigation into commander misconduct.
- The committee accused Snyder of failing to take action against a member of the team’s coaching staff accused of groping a public relations employee.
- He also said he fired female employees who engaged in consensual relationships with male members of the team’s football operations, while the male members faced no tangible penalties.
The big picture: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to testify under oath at Wednesday’s hearing.
- He is expected to say in his opening testimony that “it is clear to me that the workplace in Washington was unprofessional and unacceptable in many ways: bullying, general disrespect for colleagues, use of degrading language, public embarrassment and harassment”.
- “No one should experience workplaces like the one they described, especially not in the National Football League. I can say unequivocally to every victim that their willingness to come forward has contributed to a vastly improved workplace. “