Smoke continues to billow around Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder.
A few hours before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is set to testify virtually before Congress. for a hearing on the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s investigation into Snyder and the commanders, the committee issued 29 page memo detailing the evidence he found against Snyder.
The Committee concluded that Snyder not only played a large role in covering up allegations of workplace misconduct while they were occurring within his organization and during the 2020 NFL investigation, but also attempted to discredit former team employees, their lawyers, and journalists through “shadow investigation”. Snyder hired private investigators and lawyers to find inappropriate emails and evidence, according to a memo, and send them to the NFL and attorney Beth Wilkinson during the league’s investigation. This included sending investigators to the homes of former cheerleaders to collect emails from the former Commanders President Bruce Allen and accuse Allen of a toxic team environment.
“Mr. Snyder’s lawyers used their shadow investigation to create a 100-slide dossier of emails, text messages, phone records and social media posts from journalists, victims and witnesses who made credible public accusations of harassing commanders.” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.) wrote in her 29-page memo.
The memorandum included a significant number of damning allegations against Snyder, including testimonies from former employees stating that Snyder played a role in covering up allegations of workplace misconduct as they occurred, as well as during the NFL’s investigation. The report also concluded that Snyder “glorified drunkenness and womanizing” and used intimidation tactics to prevent employees from speaking out against a toxic work environment.
“Silence was an incentive, and silence was driven by fear, and that fear was justified by action,” testified Jason Friedman, who worked with the team for 20 years before being fired in 2020. “It wasn’t invented. People were afraid of losing their jobs because they saw so many others losing their jobs.”
These findings may be related to committee letter dated December 14, 2021 which urged the NFL to pass on information about Snyder’s possible interference during the league’s internal investigation into Snyder and the team in 2020. The result of the NFL investigation resulted in a $10 million fine for Washington, and Snyder was forced to relinquish day-to-day management of the team to his wife Tanya. In any event, the committee launched its own investigation on October 21, 2021.
Growing problems for Snyder
In recent weeks, Snyder’s problems have only worsened.
He has already twice refused to testify at Wednesday’s hearing after being asked in early June, and Snyder is also facing fraud charges from the US Federal Trade Commission.
The committee’s most recent findings come just a day after The Post published details of the 2009 sexual harassment allegations against Snyder, which were originally reported in 2020. Snyder reportedly paid $1.6 million to pay off accusers.
The NFL Players Association is also reportedly planning to target Snyder, as well as New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in defense of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshawn Watson. The NFLPA plans to say that the NFL’s punishment for these owners is not as severe as the impending punishment for Watson, who also faces sexual misconduct allegations. On Tuesday, Watson settled 20 of 24 civil lawsuits against him.