WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — After a year-long investigation, a House report found that Commanders owner Dan Snyder had a role in the “toxic” team environment.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform released the nearly 80-page report Thursday, which is titled ‘How the NFL and the Washington Commanders Cover up Decades of Sexual Misconduct.’
The committee said the investigation found “Dozens of employees at the Commanders were harmed by a toxic work culture for more than two decades. The Team’s owner permitted and participated in this troubling conduct.”
It went on to say, “The Committee’s investigation shows that the NFL has not protected workers from sexual harassment and abuse, has failed to ensure victims can speak out without fear of retaliation, and has not sought true accountability for those responsible, even after decades of misconduct.”
It also said that Snyder tried to interfere with the investigation, intimidate witnesses and that “he claimed more than 100 times that he could not recall the answers to the Committee’s questions.”
He used the phrase “I can’t recall” on numerous topics, including his knowledge of inappropriate videos made of cheerleaders and the subsequent settlements the team made with the women in those videos.
One exchange went as follows:
Q: “What did you do in response to learning about these lewd videos?”July 28 2022 deposition with the committee
A: “I can’t recall what was done, I can’t recall….”
“I can’t recall what the team did.”
Q: “I’m asking what you did, Mr. Snyder?”
A: “What I did is just tell the truth and to deny this, about me.”
The report said that Snyder refused to release former employees from confidentiality agreements in order to testify in front of the committee. It also said that he hired private investigators to try and find out details about an NFL investigation into the same allegations.
Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who are representing more than 40 former employees of the Washington Commanders, responded to the report.
They said in a statement, “The report also reveals the NFL’s shameless efforts to cover up the wrongdoing and protect Mr. Snyder at all costs. In addition to creating a public record of what had been hidden for decades, the Committee’s work resulted in important legislation limiting the use of non-disclosure agreements, which will help prevent this type of widespread harassment from happening in other American workplaces.”
Meanwhile, counsel for the team responded too.
John Brownlee and Stuart Nash said in a statement, “These Congressional investigators demonstrated, almost immediately, that they were not interested in the truth, and were only interested in chasing headlines by pursuing one side of the story. Today’s report is the predictable culmination of that one-sided approach.”
The Republican Oversight minority committee released its own report on the investigation.
It claimed the Democratic-led committee wasted taxpayer dollars on the investigation with the main goal of pushing Snyder out. It also claimed the committee did not fully investigate former General Manager Bruce Allen, who sent inappropriate and racist comments and photos using his work email.
“The Democrats’ sham investigation into the Washington Commanders has been an
egregious waste of taxpayer-funded resources. From the beginning, Committee Democrats
weaponized their power and pushed a one-sided investigation into a private company with no
connection to the federal government,” stated the report.