Ranking Member Raskin Urges Chairman Comer to Refer Former Commanders Owner Daniel Snyder to Department of Justice for Lying Under Oath
Washington, D.C. (August 16, 2023)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, sent a letter to Chairman James Comer urging him to refer former Commanders Team Owner, Daniel Snyder, to the Department of Justice for investigation and, if warranted, prosecution, for lying under oath and obstructing the Committee’s investigation into the decades-long toxic workplace culture under Mr. Snyder’s leadership. The letter follows Mr. Snyder’s statements under oath to the Oversight Committee that Tiffani Johnston’s allegations of sexual harassment “didn’t happen” and were “not true,” as well as his assertion that “the whole claim is not true,” which are inconsistent with the findings of an independent NFL investigation led by former SEC Chair and U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White.
“I write regarding investigative findings released by the National Football League (NFL) into the Washington Commanders that directly contradict statements the team’s former owner, Daniel Snyder, made under oath before this Committee. The NFL’s findings are based on interviews of ‘44 witnesses’ and the review of ‘tens of thousands of documents.’ I urge you, as Chair of this Committee, to refer Mr. Snyder to the Department of Justice, so that it can investigate his conduct and determine whether Mr. Snyder should be prosecuted for making false statements to this Committee and obstructing a Congressional investigation,” wrote Ranking Member Raskin.
On February 3, 2022, Committee Democrats held a roundtable with several former Commanders employees to discuss issues of workplace misconduct and the National Football League’s (NFL) failure to address the sexual harassment and verbal abuse within the organization, which revealed new allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Snyder. Tiffani Johnston, a former Commanders employee, shared her personal experiences of sexual harassment during her eight-year tenure at the team, including an instance in which Daniel Snyder put an “unwanted hand” on her thigh at a dinner with colleagues and “aggressively pushed” her towards his limo while senior team officials watched. When Ms. Johnston reported Snyder’s aggressive sexual advances to a senior colleague within the team, she was told that she “should not repeat this story to anyone outside this office door.”
After Mr. Snyder declined to testify at a Committee hearing and repeatedly refused to accept service of a Committee subpoena, he ultimately agreed to sit for a closed-door deposition on July 28, 2022. During this deposition, Mr. Snyder stated under oath over 100 times that he could not recall basic facts about his role as then-owner of the Commanders and repeatedly denied sexually harassing Ms. Johnston. Over the course of Ms. White and her team’s year-long investigation, the team interviewed a total of “44 witnesses” and reviewed “tens of thousands of documents” and concluded there was sufficient evidence to sustain Ms. Johnston’s allegations of misconduct—the same allegations Mr. Snyder repeatedly denied under oath.
Mr. Snyder’s false testimony during his deposition appears to be part of a pattern of obstruction and misrepresentation that included Mr. Snyder’s efforts to smear Jason Friedman, a 24-year veteran of the Commanders who corroborated Ms. Johnston’s allegations, Mr. Snyders’s characterization of Ms. Johnston’s account as “outright lies,” and his efforts to interfere with a prior NFL investigation of the Commanders conducted by Beth Wilkinson, which were uncovered by the Committee’s investigation last Congress.
“Making false statements to Congress and obstructing Congressional investigations are serious crimes. This Committee cannot conduct effective oversight if witnesses misrepresent and obscure the truth. I therefore urge you to hold Mr. Snyder accountable by referring him to the Department of Justice for investigation and, if warranted, prosecution, for lying under oath and obstructing this Committee’s investigation,” continued Ranking Member Raskin.
Click here to read today’s letter.