House committee plans to issue subpoena for Dan Snyder in Washington Commanders investigation
WASHINGTON - A House committee plans on issuing a subpoena for Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder to appear as the investigation into the team’s alleged hostile workplace environment continues.
House committee chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., made the announcement Wednesday during the House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing as National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell testified remotely.
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The Commissioner faced questions for approximately two hours. Goodell told the committee that the team’s culture has transformed as a result of a probe by attorney Beth Wilkinson’s firm and that Snyder has been held accountable.
"To be clear – the workplace at the Commanders today bears no resemblance to the workplace that has been described to this committee," Goodell testified at one point during the hearing.
Goodell told the committee that the team’s culture has transformed as a result of an independent probe led by the NFL, and that "Dan Snyder has been held accountable." Asked by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., whether he would remove Snyder as owner, Goodell said, "I don’t have the authority to remove him."
An NFL owner can only be removed by a three-quarters majority vote of fellow owners.
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Snyder declined an invitation by the committee to testify Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Snyder released the following statement after the hearing was adjourned:
"It is clear the outcome of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the Washington Commanders was predetermined from the beginning. The committee’s decision to release a ‘report’ and introduce legislation prior to the hearing is proof-positive this was always going to be little more than a politically-charged show trial, not about uncovering the truth. Hopefully, the committee will utilize its resources going forward for more pressing national matters, instead of an issue a football team addressed years ago."
Ahead of the hearing, a House committee released a memo they say details findings of Snyder’s role in creating a hostile workplace environment and his efforts to sabotage an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and abuse.
In the 29-page memo, the committee says Snyder launched a shadow investigation to influence the NFL’s internal investigation into the team’s workplace misconduct.
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According to the memo, private investigators were hired in an attempt to intimidate witnesses and used an overseas lawsuit as a pretext to obtain their phone records and emails.
The committee said they also found that Snyder's legal team presented a 100-slide digital presentation to the NFL that included information about nearly 50 individuals who the team owner believed were involved in a conspiracy against him.
According to a statement, a spokesman for Snyder described the report and the hearing as "a politically charged show trial" and said Congress should not be investigating "an issue a football team addressed years ago."
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A day prior to the House hearing, the Washington Post reported details about Snyder’s alleged 2009 sexual assault allegations. According to the report, the team paid the woman involved $1.6 million to settle her claims.
The allegations had previously been reported, but the Post’s details had not been disclosed.
According to the report, Snyder was accused of asking the woman for sex, groping her and trying to take her clothes off in a private area of the team’s plane during a flight from a trip to Las Vegas.
Last year, the NFL fined the Commanders $10 million and Snyder stepped away from his handling of day-to-day operations following an investigation of the team by Wilkinson’s team.
The league did not release a written report on Wilkinson’s findings. Goodell said a report was not released to protect the privacy of former employees who spoke to investigators.
The House investigation into the Commanders' workplace culture was launched in 2021 following accusations of pervasive sexual harassment by team executives of women employees.
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After Wednesday's hearing, the attorneys representing the former women who accused the team of misconduct released the following statement:
"Today it was stunning and disheartening to listen to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell insist that Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders have been held fully accountable for the team’s two-decades long sexual harassment of female employees. This, of course, is not true. Today the Committee released a damning report demonstrating that Snyder and his lawyers also surveilled and investigated complainants, their lawyers, witnesses and journalists, which Goodell knew about and did nothing to address. In his inexplicable and apparently unending desire to protect Dan Snyder, Goodell continues his refusal to release the findings by Beth Wilkinson citing reasons that do not withstand even minimal scrutiny. Confidentiality can be protected in a written report by redacting the names of witnesses, which is common practice, including by the NFL. The NFL issued a written report and protected promised confidentiality in 2014 when it investigated sexual harassment in the Miami Dolphins organization. And most recently, the NFL has directed Mary Jo White to interview numerous witnesses, promise them confidentiality, and produce a written report that honors that promise. It was made clear at today’s hearing that the NFL could have done the same with the Wilkinson investigation, except for the continued reluctance of Mr. Goodell to expose the full extent of the wrongdoing by Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders. To be clear, our clients want and deserve a full accounting of Beth Wilkinson’s findings. Until he agrees to release such findings, Mr. Goodell’s purported concern for the employees who suffered through 20 years of harassment and abuse is a sham."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.