Roger Goodell testifies before Congress: Live updates - The Washington Post
5 days ago
The House Oversight and Reform Committee holds a hearing examining sexual harassment allegations at the Washington Commanders football organization. (Video: The Washington Post)
Updated June 22, 2022 at 12:01 p.m. EDT|Published
June 22, 2022 at 9:32 a.m. EDT
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell faced questioning from lawmakers Wednesday about the Washington Commanders’ workplace and the actions of owner Daniel Snyder, who has been accused of sexual misconduct and overseeing a toxic culture that spanned several years.
Snyder refused a request from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and will not attend at Wednesday’s hearing.
Maloney: ‘We have the power to investigate anything’
Wednesday’s House oversight hearing illustrates just how different the hearings are for the select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
With that panel, Republicans refused to participate amid a dispute with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over which GOP members could serve on the Jan. 6 committee. It’s left the Democrats, plus two friendly Republicans, to craft hearings exactly to their production levels — each one lasts a little more than two hours, just a few lawmakers speak — without any pushback from the other side, because there is no other side.
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced during Wednesday’s Capitol Hill hearing on the workplace of Washington’s NFL team that the committee is issuing a subpoena to compel the testimony of Commanders owner Daniel Snyder in a deposition next week.
“Mr. Snyder has not been held accountable. His refusal to testify sends a clear message that he is more concerned about protecting himself than coming clean with the American people," Maloney said. "If the NFL is unwilling or unable to hold Mr. Snyder accountable, then I am prepared to do so.”
Comer says committee is ‘failing the American people’
A spokesperson for Commanders owner Daniel Snyder said Wednesday the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the team’s workplace culture and the NFL’s handling of it was “predetermined from the beginning."
“The committee’s decision to release a ‘report’ and introduce legislation prior to the hearing is proof-positive this was always going to be little more than a politically-charged show trial, not about uncovering the truth,” the spokesperson said in response to the committee’s 29-page memo in which it outlined its preliminary findings ahead of its hearing Wednesday. "Hopefully, the committee will utilize its resources going forward for more pressing national matters, instead of an issue a football team addressed years ago.”
Committee leaves vacant seat, with name card, for Snyder
Included in the Oversight Committee’s body of evidence into the Commanders’ workplace culture is testimony from multiple former executives and employees. Former COO David Pauken was among those who testified under oath at a deposition, and he shared multiple anecdotes that seem to implicate Snyder as a primary force in creating the Commanders’ workplace culture.
“The culture was how Dan wanted the culture at the time,” Pauken told the committee.
Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder will be conspicuously absent from Wednesday’s congressional hearing about his team’s workplace.
In a Monday letter from his lawyer, Karen Patton Seymour, to Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Snyder reiterated the owner’s refusal to participate, citing in part a “long-standing business conflict, for which he is out of the country.”
What to expect when Roger Goodell testifies in House probe of Commanders
Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder will be in France, after refusing to participate. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will testify under oath, remotely.
And the primary audience will watch via a live stream Wednesday as the House Committee on Oversight and Reform presents the preliminary findings of its eight-month investigation into allegations of misconduct within the Commanders workplace and the NFL’s handling of them.
Document reveals details of 2009 sexual assault allegation against Daniel Snyder
An employee ofWashington’s NFL team accused owner Daniel Snyder of sexually harassing and assaulting her in April 2009, three months before the team agreed to pay the woman $1.6 million as part of a confidential settlement, according to legal correspondence obtained by The Washington Post.
The woman accused Snyder of asking her for sex, groping her and attempting to remove her clothes,according to a letter sent by an attorney for the team to the woman’s lawyer in 2009. The woman alleged the assault occurred in a private, partitioned area at the back of one of the team’sprivate planes during a return flight from a work trip to Las Vegas.
Goodell: Commanders have undergone a ‘substantial transformation’
In his prepared remarks for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Washington Commanders’ workplace culture has undergone a “substantial transformation” since the NFL-sponsored investigation, led by attorney Beth Wilkinson, into the team.
“It is clear to me that the workplace in Washington was unprofessional and unacceptable in numerous respects: bullying, widespread disrespect toward colleagues, use of demeaning language, public embarrassment, and harassment,” Goodell’s prepared remarks read, in part. “Moreover, for a prolonged period of time the Commanders had a woefully deficient HR function, particularly with respect to reporting practices and recordkeeping.”
NFL ‘changed plans’ about a written report from Beth Wilkinson, per committee
In his opening written statement to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated that the league “did not receive a written report of Ms. [Beth] Wilkinson’s findings for compelling reasons that continue to this day.” Goodell has said, and repeated in his prepared remarks, that Wilkinson, a D.C. attorney who oversaw the investigation into the Commanders’ workplace culture, promised confidentiality to any current or former employee to encourage them to come forward. So the league determined that a “comprehensive oral briefing” would allow them to preserve the privacy of those who participated in the investigation, Goodell said.
However, according to the 29-page memo sent by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) to other members of the committee ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, the NFL received “at least 16 briefings” from Wilkinson’s law firm about her findings, including at least four that were written. Goodell, according to the memo, was personally briefed at least twice.
Daniel Snyder conducted ‘shadow investigation’ of accusers, panel finds
Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder and members of his legal team conducted a “shadow investigation” and compiled a “dossier” targeting former team employees, their attorneys and journalists in an attempt to discredit his accusers and shift blame following allegations of widespread misconduct in the team’s workplace, according to the findings of the investigation conducted by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Moreover, Snyder hired private investigators and lawyers to unearth inappropriate emails and evidence aimed at convincing the NFL and Beth Wilkinson, who was conducting a league-sponsored investigation into sexual harassment in the organization, that Snyder’s longtime team president Bruce Allen was primarily responsible for any workplace issues.