Tuesday October 3, 2023

Former Congressman: Committee ‘Will Fail’ to Oust Dan Snyder

  • Tom Davis, the former head of the House Oversight Committee, was critical of Commanders investigation.
  • Committee responded that its "investigation will not be deterred by such tactics.”
Dan Snyder
Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports
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Former Congressman Tom Davis wrote that the committee he once chaired “hasn’t sought the truth” in its nearly yearlong investigation of the Washington Commanders and owner Dan Snyder, according to documents obtained by Front Office Sports.

The letter from Davis, a Republican who represented a district in Northern Virginia, was sent to the Democratic-led House Oversight Committee on Wednesday where he questioned the fairness of the investigation  Davis is one of Snyder’s attorneys.

“Although I believe the Committee will fail in its effort to push Mr. Snyder from the NFL — principally because Mr. Snyder is innocent of the allegations against him — I harbor no illusions that this Committee will change its present course or behavior,” Davis wrote. “My only hope is that the American people — who are the ultimate judges — will see this investigation for what it is, a politically inspired hatchet job, and begin the process of removing the stain this investigation has placed on the Committee that I so respect and love.”

An Oversight Committee spokesperson sent the following statement on Davis’ letter to FOS:

“Since launching this investigation one year ago, the Committee’s focus has been to uncover the truth about the decades-long hostile workplace culture at the Commanders and find legislative solutions to ensure that all employees are protected from abuse and harassment in their place of work.

“Although the Commanders’ owner has 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 this assertion—as does the team’s continued efforts to block the production of documents to the Committee.  The Committee’s investigation will not be deterred by such tactics.”

The nine-page letter that included a series of exhibits attached afterward took aim at former team president Bruce Allen and other former team employees. Allen was fired by the Commanders in 2019 after a decade with the team. 

“It is widely acknowledged that the single most significant step the team took to remedy its toxic workplace was to rid itself of Mr. Allen,” Davis wrote. “The fraternity-house culture that Mr. Allen instilled in the Commanders organization is the principal reason that the Commanders came under investigation in the first place.”

Davis wrote that the committee was provided with “a small sample of his workplace communications” from Allen. The leaked emails between Allen and Jon Gruden led to Gruden’s abrupt resignation last October, and, days later, the Oversight Committee launched a probe into the toxic workplace culture that the Commanders allegedly fostered. 

Allen was deposed by the Oversight Committee last month. 

“That the Committee would nevertheless choose to sponsor such a witness, in full awareness of the racist, misogynistic, and homophobic beliefs he tolerated and espoused in his e-mail conversations with his friends, is truly astounding,” Davis wrote. 

Sources with knowledge of the investigation told FOS this week that the Oversight Committee is expected to release its final findings in the case in the coming weeks. The clock is ticking since the House could flip to the Republicans, who would assume control of the Oversight Committee in January. 

Davis chaired the Oversight Committee in its probe of MLB’s steroid era that began in 2005. The hearings stretched into 2008, and pushed MLB to create a more stringent PED testing system.

“We sought testimony from all relevant witnesses and refused to target individuals for political gain,” Davis wrote. “The bipartisan baseball hearings showed that Congress, despite its many differences, could work together when its members acted with integrity and remain focused on uncovering the truth.”

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