Dan Snyder won’t have to worry about a criminal referral from the House Oversight Committee.
Hours after a request from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a spokesperson for the Republican-led Oversight Committee told Front Office Sports that the body chaired by Rep. James Comer (R-Kentucky) won’t ask the Justice Department to investigate the former Washington Commanders owner.
“Ranking Member Raskin is obsessed with an investigation that has no connection whatsoever to the federal government,” a House Oversight Committee spokesperson said in the statement to FOS. “It is very clear what their priorities are – Democrats are more concerned with using Committee resources to target a private sports workplace than investigating the corruption of the sitting President of the United States.
“The Oversight Committee is going to continue to prioritize the American people by ensuring our federal government is efficient, accountable, and transparent.”
Raskin sought the DOJ to review whether Snyder committed perjury and obstructed Congress, which are both felonies.
“Rather than join Committee Democrats in this effort, Committee Republicans have repeatedly sought to protect Daniel Snyder despite overwhelming evidence that he condoned and participated in a toxic workplace culture of pervasive sexual harassment, including by issuing a memo that sought to whitewash Mr. Snyder’s misconduct,” spokesperson for the Oversight Committee Democrats said in response to the majority’s refusal to consider a criminal referral. “Their refusal to hold Mr. Snyder accountable for his efforts to obstruct the Committee’s investigation, including by making false statements under oath, is yet further proof that Committee Republicans are intent on using the Committee to advance false narratives rather than gathering facts and evidence to inform legislation for the benefit of the American people.”
Raskin’s eight-page request cited the findings of the NFL’s second investigation of the Commanders led by former Securities and Exchange Commission chief Mary Jo White. White’s findings were released on July 20, the same day NFL owners’ approved Josh Harris as the new owner of the Commanders.
Snyder was fined $60 million due to the White investigation, surpassing the NFL’s prior record fine ($10 million) of the Commanders after the league’s first outside investigation concluded in 2021.
White’s investigation keyed in on two issues: allegations made in front of the Oversight Committee in July 2022 where former Commanders employee Tiffani Johnston alleged Snyder harassed her, and claims that the Commanders withheld revenue from the league — allegations that were first reported by Front Office Sports last year.
“After extensive investigation, we have sustained both Tiffani Johnston’s allegation of sexual harassment by Mr. Snyder and Jason Friedman’s allegation of deliberate underreporting of NFL revenues,” White wrote in the report.
Friedman, who is suing the Commanders and one of the team’s lawyers for defamation, made the allegations of a scheme to hold back ticket revenue during an interview with the Oversight Committee in March 2022.
Friedman also corroborated Johnston’s harassment allegations.
“Contrary to the club’s unequivocal public denials of Mr. Friedman’s allegations and its public attacks on his character and credibility, the club has now acknowledged, as alleged by Mr. Friedman, that employees reclassified NFL revenues to non-shareable accounts, causing the club to apparently underreport NFL revenues for sharing,” Write’s report stated.
White found that the scheme led to $11 million of revenue being withheld from the league.
In his deposition, Snyder said the incident that Johnston described to the committee at a networking event in 2005 or 2006 “didn’t happen.”
“All I know is that it’s just not true,” Snyder said.
The Oversight Committee — which was led by the Democrats before the last general election — concluded its investigation of the Commanders in December without issuing any criminal referrals.
A criminal referral doesn’t mean the Department of Justice will seek charges or investigate the claims.
The same committee referred seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens to the DOJ in February 2008 following his testimony. Clemens denied he used performance-enhancing drugs in a 2007 hearing into baseball’s steroid era.
It took over two years for the DOJ to investigate before Clemens was indicted in August 2010. Clemens was acquitted of obstruction and lying to Congress charges in June 2012.