Not only is the House Committee on Oversight and Reform investigating the Washington Commanders over allegations of years-long sexual misconduct throughout the organization, but the franchise’s financial dealings in recent years are also under scrutiny.
The Commanders and owner Daniel Snyder are in the midst of two major inquiries into allegations of sexual assault inside the organization over the last decade. Currently, the NFL is spearheading its own probe into recent claims, which is led by former US Attorney Mary Jo White. This is actually the second investigation into similar allegations against the Commanders.
Washington Commanders allegations being investigated by US Congress and NFL
In 2020, the league looked into assertions of sexual assault by team cheerleaders in 2013. Their findings in the 10-month investigation — which were not publicly released — led to a $10 million fine this past summer. However, the league’s two separate investigations sandwich an ongoing examination by the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform.
In February, the committee felt the need to give a closer look at how the NFL handled the situation two years ago after a new round of allegations came out earlier this year. The committee’s investigation and hearings last month are what led to the NFL’s second deep dive into the franchise’s appalling history.
The assumption was that the review by Congress would focus strictly on sexual assault claims. However, on Thursday, the Washington Post reported that the focus of the investigation has widened and now includes the Washington Commander’s financial dealings in recent years as well.
Congressional investigation expands to include financial improprieties by Commanders
“The congressional committee that has been investigating sexual harassment in the Washington Commanders’ workplace is now also looking into allegations of financial improprieties under Daniel Snyder’s ownership,” sources told the Washington Post on Thursday. The added focus comes after the committee took a look at over 80,000 pages of documents and interviewed witnesses about the team’s workplace and the league’s handling of the sexual assault claims.
“The Committee continues to investigate the hostile workplace and culture of impunity at the Washington Commanders as well as the National Football League’s inadequate response and lack of transparency. The Committee will follow the facts wherever they may lead,” a spokesperson for the committee told the Washington Post.
In a separate statement, the Commanders claimed to have no knowledge of an investigation into financial improprieties by the team. “The team categorically denies any suggestion of financial impropriety of any kind at any time. We adhere to strict internal processes that are consistent with industry and accounting standards, are audited annually by a globally respected independent auditing firm, and are also subject to regular audits by the NFL,” a Commanders spokesperson said in a statement.
The specifics about what Congress is looking closely at are still unknown at this time and remain a sensitive issue being kept behind closed doors, and among the 45-member committee.