August 17, 2022

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Snyder testifies for 11 hours to Home committee

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he has no authority to take away Daniel Snyder as...

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he has no authority to take away Daniel Snyder as proprietor of the Washington Commanders amid ongoing scrutiny into the group’s office tradition and accusations from ladies staff of pervasive sexual harassment by group executives.

Goodell testified Wednesday earlier than members of Congress at a listening to by the Home Committee on Oversight and Reform. At one level close to the top of greater than two hours of testimony, Goodell was questioned by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), who requested whether or not Goodell and the league are “prepared to do extra” to punish Snyder.

After initially asking whether or not he would advocate Snyder’s elimination as proprietor of the Commanders, Tlaib adopted up by asking Goodell: “Will you take away him?”

“I haven’t got the authority to take away him, Congresswoman,” Goodell responded.

An NFL proprietor might be eliminated solely by a three-quarters (so, 24 out of 32) majority vote of fellow house owners, though Goodell does have the flexibility to formally advocate such a vote.

Snyder was invited to testify however declined, citing abroad enterprise commitments and considerations about due course of. Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) introduced through the listening to that she plans to difficulty a subpoena to compel him to testify.

“The NFL is unwilling or unable to carry Mr. Snyder accountable,” Maloney stated. “That’s the reason I’m asserting now my intent to difficulty a subpoena for Mr. Snyder for a deposition subsequent week. The committee is not going to be deterred in its investigation into the Washington Commanders.”

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Goodell instructed the committee that the group’s tradition has remodeled on account of an investigation led by legal professional Beth Wilkinson and that Snyder “has been held accountable.”

After Wilkinson offered her findings to Goodell final yr, the NFL fined the group $10 million and Snyder stepped away from its day-to-day operations. Nevertheless, the league didn’t launch a written report of Wilkinson’s findings, a call Goodell stated was supposed to guard the privateness of former staff who spoke to investigators.

Following Wednesday’s listening to, the Commanders despatched a letter to group staff — a duplicate of which was obtained by ESPN — that stated, partially, “We consider the statements which were made within the media crucial of our group don’t precisely replicate our optimistic transformation and the present actuality of the Washington Commanders group that exists immediately.”

The committee launched the findings of its eight-month investigation earlier than Wednesday’s listening to began, accusing Snyder of conducting his own “shadow investigation” that sought to discredit former staff, hiring personal investigators to intimidate witnesses, and utilizing an abroad lawsuit as a pretext to acquire telephone information and emails.

The 29-page memo alleges Snyder tried to discredit the folks accusing him and different group executives of misconduct and likewise tried to affect an investigation of the group carried out for the NFL by Wilkinson’s agency.

Snyder’s attorneys offered the NFL with a 100-slide PowerPoint presentation that included “personal textual content messages, emails, telephone logs and name transcripts, and social media posts from almost 50 people who Mr. Snyder apparently believed had been concerned in a conspiracy to disparage him,” the committee stated.

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When requested in regards to the alleged “shadow” investigation, Goodell stated: “Any motion that might discourage folks from coming ahead can be inappropriate.”

In a press release, a spokesperson for Snyder characterised the report and the listening to as “a politically charged present trial” and stated Congress shouldn’t be investigating “a problem a soccer group addressed years in the past.”

Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who symbolize greater than 40 former group staff, once more referred to as on Goodell to launch a report from the Wilkinson probe, calling it “gorgeous and disheartening” to listen to him say Snyder has been held accountable.

“Right now, the committee launched a damning report demonstrating that Snyder and his attorneys additionally surveilled and investigated complainants, their attorneys, witnesses and journalists, which Goodell knew about and did nothing to handle,” Banks and Katz stated in a press release.

Maloney has launched laws to curb using office nondisclosure agreements and to supply protections for workers whose skilled photos are used inappropriately. Among the many accusations towards the Commanders are that group staff produced a video of lewd outtakes from a photograph shoot involving the cheerleading squad.

Republicans on the committee accused Democrats of going after an NFL group to distract from extra urgent points and exceeding the scope of the committee’s mission.

“A core accountability of this committee is to conduct oversight of the manager department, however this whole Congress, Democrats have turned a blind eye to the Biden administration,” stated Kentucky GOP Rep. James Comer, the committee’s rating member. “As a substitute, the Oversight committee is investigating a single personal group for office misconduct that occurred years in the past.”

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ESPN’s Tisha Thompson and The Related Press contributed to this report.