Jamie Raskin calls on NFL’s Roger Goodell to release Mary Jo White report

The ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability called on the NFL to honor its promise to release the results of attorney Mary Jo White’s investigation into the Washington Commanders and their owner, Daniel Snyder, and to impose any appropriate discipline.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a two-page letter sent Friday that he is “encouraged by” the league’s “stated commitment to full transparency” and expects it to follow through. Democrats on the committee led an investigation into Snyder and the team’s workplace for nearly 14 months before losing control of the House and leadership of the committee in the November election.

“I am writing regarding the National Football League’s (NFL) investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and financial abuse against Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder,” Raskin wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post. “More than a year has passed since your promise to ‘share the results of that investigation,’ but to date no part of the information has been released to the public. In light of the impending sale of the Commanders franchise, I urge you to honor your obligation to release the report in its entirety and “take further disciplinary action if warranted.” ”

Goodell has repeatedly said the NFL will release the results of White’s investigation even if Snyder sells the Commanders. The NFL has scheduled a special league meeting for July 20, where team owners are expected to vote to ratify Josh Harris’ $6.05 billion deal to buy the Commanders from Snyder. The league’s eight-owner finance committee is poised to recommend approval of the deal, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.

The NFL plans to meet on July 20 for owners to vote on Commander’s sale

The NFL has not said when White’s report will be complete. A person familiar with the inner workings of the NFL said recently that the report could be released before the owners vote on the sale and could result in Goodell imposing a fine.

“As you have previously acknowledged, with one of the most prominent platforms in America, the NFL is ‘held to a higher standard, and rightly so,'” Raskin wrote in Friday’s letter. “You now have an opportunity to show the American people — and most importantly, the victims of the commanders’ toxic workplace — that you will uphold this higher standard by ensuring transparency and accountability, by releasing Ms. White’s full report, and by to take further action in accordance with the findings of the report.”

Goodell reiterated the league’s intent to release the results of White’s investigation when he spoke to reporters at the conclusion of an owners meeting last month in Eagan, Minn.

“Mary Jo White is an expert,” Goodell said. “She’s incredibly thorough. When she finishes the investigation, she’ll let me know. We’ve promised to make sure we tell our ownership. And we’ve promised to make sure the results are made public. So we’re going to do that.”

The Post reported in February that Snyder sought to have the NFL keep the results of White’s investigation confidential. ESPN reported in May that Snyder and his lawyers lobbied the NFL to limit the release of White’s report. The commanders dismissed the reports.

Recently, the owners have become increasingly optimistic that they will be able to resolve their remaining issues with Snyder in a way that does not impede the completion of the sale to Harris’ group, people with direct knowledge of the league’s internal affairs functions and the views of the owners have said. Owners believe Snyder is eager to see the deal completed so he can leave the NFL and receive the financial benefits of the sale, these people have said.

NFL owners hope to resolve issues with Snyder; Goodell anticipates approval of sale

A person familiar with the inner workings of the NFL said in late May that it did not appear that considerations of White’s investigation and report would halt the sale.

White, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has led the NFL’s second investigation into Snyder and his franchise. Snyder has declined to be interviewed by White, three people with direct knowledge of the league’s inner workings said in March. White was expected to make at least one more attempt before concluding her investigation, according to one of these people.

The NFL did not release the results of an earlier investigation into Snyder and his franchise by attorney Beth Wilkinson, citing promises of confidentiality given to witnesses. Following Wilkinson’s investigation, the NFL announced in July 2021 that the team had been fined $10 million and that Snyder’s wife, Tanya, the team’s co-CEO, would assume responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the franchise for an unspecified period of time.

In a 79-page report released in December, the oversight committee said Snyder “obstructed” the committee’s investigation and failed to fulfill his attorney’s promise that he would give full and complete testimony. It also said the NFL failed “to address Mr. Snyder’s involvement” in Wilkinson’s investigation and played a role in covering up the team’s toxic work environment.

Daniel Snyder gave evasive, ‘misleading’ testimony, House committee says

Snyder participated remotely in a sworn deposition for more than 10 hours last July after he and the committee agreed to the terms of the interview after weeks of negotiations. Snyder declined the committee’s invitation to attend a June 2022 hearing on Capitol Hill where Goodell testified externally. Snyder’s attorney subsequently refused to accept electronic service of a subpoena.

The commanders and Republicans on the committee called the Democrats’ investigation flawed and biased. Republicans declared the investigation closed after taking over leadership of the committee.

In April 2022, the committee said in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission that Commanders and Snyder “may have engaged in a troubling, long-standing and potentially illegal pattern of financial conduct” that allegedly involved withholding as much as $5 million in refundable deposits from ticket holders and save money to be shared between NFL owners.

The commanders denied the allegations, but subsequently reached financial settlements with the Maryland and DC offices, without admitting wrongdoing, based on the allegations of withholding deposits from ticket holders.

Leave a Comment