Lawyer course

Daniel Snyder’s attorney responds to House Oversight Committee investigation

Lawyers for the Washington Commanders told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that their Democratic-led investigation into the workplace of team and franchise owner Daniel Snyder was “an ax job.” ‘political inspiration’ designed to remove Snyder from the NFL.

The claims were made in a nine-page letter sent Wednesday to Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.), chair of the committee, and signed by Tom Davis, a partner at Holland & Knight, a law firm that represents the team. .

Davis, a former Republican congressman from Virginia who chaired the committee when it held hearings into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, wrote that the committee’s investigation “could come to its conclusion” and he wanted to raise a series of concerns. .

“The Washington commanders’ investigation was not fair, thorough, or bipartisan, and it certainly did not seek the truth,” Davis wrote. “From the start, the Committee set out for one purpose – to destroy Dan Snyder and his family and to attempt, with deceit, innuendo and half-truths, to drive him out of the National Football League. This investigation stinks of form. basest of politics and its sole purpose is personal destruction.

A copy of Davis’ letter, which included a series of exhibits, was obtained by The Washington Post. The letter also mentioned two other commanders’ lawyers, Stuart Nash and John Brownlee. The committee said in a statement from a spokesperson that it had requested an accurate account of the team’s workplace under Snyder’s ownership.

“Since the launch of this inquiry a year ago, the Committee’s goal has been to uncover the truth about the hostile work culture of commanding officers for decades and to find legislative solutions to ensure that all employees are protected against abuse and harassment in their workplace,” the statement read. “While the owner of Commanders recently claimed to have turned over a new leaf, this latest effort to attack and intimidate former employees who have come forward casts doubt on that claim – as do the team’s ongoing efforts to block the production of documents to the Committee The Committee’s investigation will not be deterred by such tactics.

Davis’ letter comes amid a significant shift in sentiment towards Snyder among some NFL owners as they await the findings of a league-commissioned investigation led by attorney Mary Jo White. Several owners have said recently that they think serious consideration could be given to trying to oust Snyder from the league’s ownership ranks, either by convincing him to sell his franchise or by voting to remove him.

“He has to sell,” one owner said recently.

In Wednesday’s letter, Davis wrote, “While I believe the Committee will fail in its efforts to push Mr. Snyder out of the NFL – primarily because Mr. Snyder is innocent of the allegations against him – I am not worried. no illusions that this Committee will change its current course or behavior. My only hope is that the American people – who are the ultimate judges – will see this investigation for what it is, a politically inspired ax work, and will begin the process of erasing the stain that this investigation has placed on the Committee that I so respect and love.”

NFL owners’ attitude hardens toward COs’ Daniel Snyder

Davis wrote that the committee “did not request any documents from commanders, other than some ad hoc requests during Mr. Snyder’s deposition” and did not ask to interview any current team employees.

The committee “showed little interest in the current state of the team’s workplace,” Davis wrote. He said the committee “embraced and protected some of the most embittered by their forced separation from the team”, including former team president Bruce Allen and former vice president of sales and customer service. Jason Friedman.

In April, the committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission detailing allegations made by Friedman of financial improprieties involving the team and Snyder. The team denied committing any such irregularities. In June, as the committee prepared to hold a hearing on Capitol Hill at the team’s workplace, Maloney sent a memo to the other committee members saying that the panel’s investigation had uncovered evidence that Snyder and his lawyers had conducted a “parallel investigation” in an attempt to discredit his accusers and shift blame.

The effort was intended to cast Allen as the main culprit for any problems in the workplace, according to Maloney’s June memo.

“It is widely recognized that the most important step the team took to address its toxic workplace was to get rid of Mr. Allen,” Davis wrote in Wednesday’s letter. “The culture of brotherhood that Mr. Allen instilled in the COs organization is the main reason the COs were investigated in the first place.”

Davis called the efforts “by Mr. Snyder and the team to uncover evidence of unlawful conduct directed against him and his family” as “proper and separate from the NFL workplace investigation.” He also said the NFL “is aware of these efforts.”

Snyder gave a voluntary sworn statement to the committee remotely for more than 10 hours in July. This came after he refused to appear at the June 22 hearing and one of his lawyers refused to accept electronic service of a subpoena by the committee.

According to Davis’ letter, Snyder denied the committee allegations made by Tiffani Johnston during a February congressional roundtable. Johnston, a former cheerleader and marketing manager for the team, told committee members that Snyder harassed her at a team dinner, putting his hand on her thigh and urging her toward his limo.

“For reasons the Committee has declined to share publicly, Ms. Johnston was not required to take an oath before presenting her story,” Davis wrote. “In contrast, Mr. Snyder was required to provide sworn testimony and was sternly warned by the Committee’s lawyers of the criminal consequences of giving false testimony. Mr. Snyder testified that he did not recall ever meeting Ms. Johnston and certainly did not recall having dinner with her. Mr. Snyder and numerous other current and former employees of the Commanding Officers organization are prepared to testify that they do not recall Mr. Snyder ever dining with a cheerleader in a setting such as that described by Ms. Johnson.

Allen gave evidence under subpoena to the committee remotely for about 10 hours last month.

“I believe the public has a right to know the truth about this NFL franchise and why the Committee has decided to isolate itself from very relevant information that has been available since the investigation began and which goes against of the Committee’s preconceived narrative. wrote Davis. “I expect the Committee to explain, in any report it issues, why such evidence was deemed unworthy of even being requested during the Committee’s so-called ‘inquiry.’ ”