Congress says it will issue a subpoena to Commanders owner Daniel Snyder
Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder might not be able to dodge Congress much longer.
After Snyder twice declined to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform investigating him and the Washington Commanders, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a hearing Wednesday she plans to issue Snyder a subpoena that would compel him to testify.
"Mr. Snyder has not been held accountable. His refusal not to testify sends a clear message that he is more concerned about protecting himself than coming clean with the American people. If the NFL is unwilling or unwilling to hold Mr. Snyder accountable, then I am prepared to do so," chairwoman Malone said. That is why I am an announcing now my intent to issue a subpoena for the testimony of Mr. Snyder for a deposition next week. The committee will not be deterred in its investigation to uncover the truth of workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders."
This announcement came during a hearing in which NFL commissioner Roger Goodell virtually testified about the league's internal investigation into workplace misconduct within the Commanders. Though the hearing was about that investigation, the proceedings got heated at times when some members of the committee questioned the purpose of the hearing and attacked President Joe Biden's administration.
Congress: Snyder tried to discredit accusers with 'shadow investigation'
Earlier Wednesday morning, the committee released a 29-page memo detailing the evidence it found against Snyder. That included an allegation that Snyder tried to discredit former team employees, their attorneys and journalists with a "shadow investigation."
Snyder allegedly hired private investigators and lawyers to find inappropriate emails and evidence, per the memo, to send to the NFL and attorney Beth Wilkinson during the league's investigation. This included sending investigators to the homes of former cheerleaders to gather emails from former Commanders president Bruce Allen and blame Allen for the toxic environment within the team.
“Lawyers for Mr. Snyder used their shadow investigation to create a 100-slide dossier with emails, text messages, telephone records, and social media posts from journalists, victims, and witnesses who had made credible public accusations of harassment against the Commanders,” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) wrote in her 29-page memo."
The memo featured a significant amount of damning allegations against Snyder, including testimony from former employees that said Snyder played a role in covering up allegations of workplace misconduct while they were happening as well as during the NFL's investigation. The report also concluded Snyder "glorified drinking and womanizing" and used fear tactics to stop employees from speaking out against the toxic workplace environment.
“The silence was the enabler and the silence was driven by fear, and that fear was justified by actions," Jason Friedman, who had worked with the team for 20 years before being fired in 2020, testified. "It was not concocted. People were afraid to lose their jobs because they had seen so many others lose their jobs."
The "shadow investigation" findings are likely be linked to the Dec. 14, 2021 letter from the committee, which called on the NFL to turn over information about possible interference by Snyder during the league's internal investigation into Snyder and the team in 2020. The result of the NFL's probe led to a $10 million fine for Washington, and Snyder was forced to relinquish day-to-day control of the team to his wife, Tanya. The committee opened its own investigation on Oct. 21, 2021, anyway.
Ever-growing trouble for Snyder
Snyder's issues have only gotten worse in recent weeks.
The most recent findings by the committee come only a day after The Post published details about the 2009 sexual misconduct allegations against Snyder which were originally reported in 2020. Snyder reportedly paid $1.6 million to settle with the accusers. Snyder also faces allegations of fraud by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission
The NFL Players Association also reportedly plans to target Snyder — as well as New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — in its defense of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. The NFLPA plans to claim that the NFL's punishment of those owners isn't as severe as its impending punishment for Watson, who also faces allegations of sexual misconduct. Watson settled 20 of the 24 civil suits against him on Tuesday, according to the accusers' attorney.