Daniel Snyder conducted a shadow investigation of the prosecutors, the panel found

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Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder and members of his legal team conducted a “shadow investigation” and compiled a “file” aimed at former members of the team, their attorneys and journalists, in an attempt to discredit his accusers and shift charges following allegations of widespread misconduct. According to an inquiry carried out by the House of Representatives’ Monitoring and Reform Committee.

Moreover, Snyder hired private detectives and attorneys to retrieve inappropriate emails and evidence to convince the NFL and Beth Wilkinson, who conducted an over-sponsored investigation into sexual harassment in the organization, that Bruce Allen, Snyder’s longtime team president, is primarily responsible. for everyone. workplace problems.

Preliminary findings were described in detail in a 29-page memo by committee chair Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.) to committee members ahead of Wednesday’s interrogation of Capitol Hill’s commanders’ job, where NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to take the oath. Snyder declined to participate, contesting the date and terms.

“This memorandum describes the evidence found by the committee that, although the NFL and its commanders publicly advertised the employment of a respected DC lawyer. [Wilkinson] “Commander owner Daniel Snyder privately launched a shadow investigation, apparently trying to discredit his accusers in the eyes of the NFL and offer an alternative target for the investigation,” Maloney wrote in his magazine. Memo. ” interests and a common legal strategy. “

Representatives of the team and Snyder’s lawyer did not respond immediately to requests for comments on Wednesday morning. An NFL spokesman who asked for comments on the committee’s findings referred to comments prepared for Goodell’s Wednesday hearing.

The document reveals details of Daniel Snyder’s 2009 sexual assault charges

“It took a lot of courage for many to relive their painful experiences and tell their stories,” Goodell said in part. “No one should experience the kind of jobs they have described, especially not in the National Football League. I can say unequivocally to every victim that their willingness to have a say has contributed to a significant improvement in the job.

“It is clear to me that the Washington workplace was unprofessional and unacceptable in many ways: bullying, widespread disrespect for colleagues, degrading language, public embarrassment and harassment. In addition, commanders have long had a deplorable lack of staffing, especially in terms of reporting practices and accounting.

The hearing took place one day after The Washington Post reported that a team member had accused Snyder of sexual harassment and assault in April 2009, three months before the team agreed to pay the woman $ 1.6 million under a confidential agreement. correspondence. Posted by. Snyder has called the woman’s allegations “unfounded” and said the team only agreed to the deal under the guidance of the insurance company.

“Mr Snyder’s lawyers used their shadow investigation to create a 100-slide file of emails, text messages, phone calls and social media posts from journalists, victims and witnesses who had made credible public allegations of harassment of commanders,” Maloney wrote in a 29-page memo.

According to the Committee’s investigation, the file, drawn up by Snyder’s representatives, included Post’s journalists detailing allegations of sexual harassment in the team’s workplace, and lawyers Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent more than 40 former team members.

“Mr. Snyder’s legal team made several presentations to the NFL during Ms. Wilkinson’s investigation, including a 100-page PowerPoint slide detailing the private communications and social media activities of Washington Post journalists and former employees,” the Maloney memo said.

The 100-slide file was compiled “on the basis of information obtained through abusive litigation tactics and private detectives targeting victims and witnesses of the commanders’ toxic work environment,” the committee said. Maloney wrote that Snyder’s goal appears to be to compile an apologetic narrative for the NFL that shows he was not responsible for the commanders’ toxic work environment, but was the victim of a coordinated defamation campaign.

Based on the results of the Wilkinson investigation, the NFL fined the team $ 10 million last July. He also announced too much that Snyder would hand over control of the franchise’s day-to-day operations indefinitely to his wife, Tanya, the team’s co-leader. Since then, he has represented the team in league matches.

The committee’s investigation found that Snyder and his attorneys sent private detectives to the home of former team cheerleaders seeking derogatory information about Allen and combed more than 400,000 emails into Allen’s passive team account to convince the NFL that Allen was responsible for the team’s toxic work culture. .

What to expect when Roger Goodell testifies during a search of the commanders’ house

Ten years later, Snyder fired Allen as team president in December 2019. Allen was not immediately available for comment.

The lawyers representing Snyder gave Wilkinson’s company and the NFL e-mails, the commission said. Snyder’s lawyer “identified specific inappropriate emails from Bruce Allen in an attempt to show that Bruce Allen had created a toxic environment for the Washington commander,” the Maloney memo said.

Several of those emails later appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, including some in which Las Vegas Raid coach Jon Gruden used racist, homophobic, and hate speech in his seven-year correspondence with Gren while working for ESPN. Gruden left the Raiders after the emails were revealed.

At a league meeting in New York in October, Tanya Snyder told other NFL franchisees that neither she nor her husband were responsible for the leaked emails, several people at the meeting said at the time.

Gruden sued the NFL in November, accusing the league and Goodell of using leaked emails to publicly sabotage Gruden’s career and resign. The NFL has said it did not leak Gruden’s emails.

The league is currently conducting a second Snyder investigation, led by attorney Mary Jo White. Goodell has allowed the findings to be released after it refused to disclose Wilkinson’s findings and said Wilkinson only provided an oral report to the league.

A summary of the Maloney Congressional investigation noted that the NFL’s initial contract with Wilkinson required him to submit a written report and make recommendations, but too later changed his plan. The Maloney memo accuses the team and the NFL of obstructing the investigation of both Wilkinson and the congressional panel.

The memo also cites cases where Snyder did not take action against coaches and senior staff but punished women for consensual relationships with male employees. David Pauken, the former CEO of the team, told the committee that when Snyder learned that the coach had fumbled with the public relations officer, Snyder refused to take action against the coach and told the PR employee to stay away from the coach.

Pauken also admitted that Snyder fired female workers who had consensual relationships with male members of the team or its employees. He referred to the dismissal of two cheerleaders over his relationship with former narrow-minded Chris Cooley.

“The female employee was fired, but the male employee had no consequences other than being banned from having sex with stimulant girls,” Maloney said.

Another former CEO of the team, Brian Lafemina, admitted that when Snyder was informed of allegations of sexual harassment against former broadcaster Larry Michael, he denied the allegations, saying Michael was a “darling” who “doesn’t hurt anyone.” Michael later resigned.

Former team leader Jason Friedman told the committee that the team’s culture glorifies drinking and women.

The committee previously described Friedman’s allegations of financial irregularities against the team in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission. The team denied the allegations.

At the February congressional roundtable, Tiffani Johnston, the team’s former head of promotion and marketing, told committee members that Snyder harassed him at the team’s dinner, put his hand on his thigh, and pushed him toward his limousine. Snyder called the charges against him “clear lies.”

Tiffani Johnston, a former member of the Washington Commanders team, admitted on February 3 that he had been harassed by team owner Dan Snyder at the team dinner. (Video: The Washington Post)

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