WASHINGTON — Before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform had even released their findings from a year-long investigation into the Washington Commanders workplace culture, Republican committee members had already put out a 210-page response.
The memo obtained by WUSA9 called the report, titled "How the NFL and the Washington Commanders covered up decades of sexual misconduct," a "sham" that ignored key facts.
“The Democrats’ sham investigation into the Washington Commanders has been an egregious waste of taxpayer-funded resources,” the report reads. “The Committee Democrats’ investigation is an ends-oriented effort to take down an NFL team owner.”
Editor's Note: The original memo included numerous redacted emails and partially redacted nude photos of cheerleaders. Out of respect for those photographed, WUSA9 has chosen to fully redact all explicit photos. The report also includes language that may be considered offensive. Read the full memo below.
GOP members of the Oversight Committee suggested the Democratic-led investigation was driven behind the scenes by the billionaire owner of the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos, in an effort to force team owner Dan Snyder to sell him the team.
“Bezos is...owner of The Washington Post, whose negative coverage of Dan Snyder has been a key driver of Committee Democrats’ investigation," the memo reads. “It appears that the entire effort may have had as its goal the removal of an unfavored owner and the installation of the owner of a left-leaning newspaper sympathetic to the Democratic party.”
A source close to the investigation told WUSA9 “this could lead to its own investigation by the NFL or GOP when they take control."
Bezos has yet to respond to the allegations.
The response memo included alleged emails between the team's former General Manager, Bruce Allen, sent from his work account, to former Buccaneers and Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and others, sharing explicit photos of women, including topless cheerleaders. The emails also appear to be mocking female NFL referees, and using homophobic slurs.
The Republicans make the case it was Allen, not Snyder, who created and spread the organization's toxic workplace culture. They also maintained it was Allen who controlled the team’s day-to-day operations.
Allen was fired in 2019 after 10 seasons with the Washington franchise.
Republicans also released transcripts of portions of Snyder’s 11 hours of Congressional testimony, which had not been released by the committee, in which the owner:
- Denied allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault
- Denied viewing explicit videos secretly recorded of cheerleaders
Republicans say Snyder was supportive of policy changes to protect employees, including Allen’s removal. They also highlighted testimony from former team executive Brian Lafemina who said he had no knowledge of Snyder participating in or perpetuating a bad culture. Lafemina has also said he did not see any evidence of financial fraud.
READ: The full Committee on Oversight and Reform report