Daniel Snyder Pushes Back Against Alleged ‘Extortion Campaign’

    • Snyder alleges team co-owner Dwight Schar was source of recent stories about alleged sexual harassment.
    • The NFL hired former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to lead an investigation into the feud between Snyder and the co-owners.

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Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder alleged in a federal court filing he was subject to “an extortion campaign” by team co-owner Dwight Schar, according to court documents obtained by Front Office Sports.

The Dec. 23 filing came after The New York Times and Washington Post alleged Snyder had confidentially settled a sexual harassment allegation. 

Snyder wrote in the latest filing in a lawsuit brought by the team’s co-owners in federal court in Maryland that an “investigation by a well-respected law firm” found “no evidence of wrongdoing” on Snyder’s behalf linked to the claim by a now-former employee over an alleged incident on a private plane.

“This is far from the only instance in which I have been extorted by Mr. Schar and others associated with him about this meritless allegation,” Snyder wrote in the filing. “For the past 5 months, there have been repeated threats by Mr. Schar and others associated with him.”

Front Office Sports previously reported that Snyder believed Schar was central to a misinformation campaign ahead of two Washington Post stories on alleged sexual harassment of current and former employees that delved into the team’s workplace culture. 

Snyder, until the most recent stories, was only tenuously linked to knowledge of the harassment those employees faced.

“We have gotten monumentally closer to unveiling the cowards behind this criminal misinformation campaign against Dan Snyder,” Joe Tacopina, one of Snyder’s attorneys, told Front Office Sports in November.

Snyder wrote in the filing that Schar, a real estate mogul, was the source of the settlement leaks.

“Mr. Schar threatened my personal attorney in a conversation on July 25, telling him that the threat he has been seeking to hold over me would come out if I didn’t ‘just sell the team’; that I ‘won’t have a choice’; that the story ‘will kill Dan”; and that I ‘will suffer a horrible existence.’” Snyder alleged.

The fallout between Snyder and the team’s co-owners began earlier this year when Snyder relayed that the team wouldn’t pay a dividend to the minority owners as the pandemic squeezed its profits.

Weeks later, fake news and posts began to appear on websites and on social media allegedly distributed by Indian media outlet MEA WorldWide that linked Syder to sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein.

Snyder sued MEA WorldWide in an India court and has used the U.S. court system to track down those responsible in the U.S. for the alleged campaign. 

FedEx CEO Fred Smith, one of the other co-owners, pushed Snyder to ditch the Redskins name. Snyder previously vowed never to do it before the team announced over the summer it would ditch the racially insensitive nickname.  

“Discovery obtained by my lawyers in proceedings related to my defamation lawsuit against a global misinformation media site, MEAWW, and others in India has revealed that at least Dwight Schar has funneled information about me and the Team to Mary Ellen Blair, a former Executive Assistant with the Team, to be provided to The Washington Post,” Snyder alleged in the the Dec. 23 filing.

The NFL has tapped former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to lead an investigation into the feud between Snyder and the co-owners, according to the Wall Street Journal. Part of Lynch’s focus will be to determine Schar’s alleged role in the misinformation campaign.