Virginia, DC AGs open separate inquiries into Washington Commanders

The Attorneys General of D.C. and Virginia confirmed Monday that their offices would conduct separate investigations into the NFL’s Washington Commanders and owner Dan Snyder in response to a House investigation into the team’s financial actions.

In a statement to WTOP, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said his office has been investigating allegations of sexual harassment, workplace misconduct, the franchise’s response to those claims, and its ticket sales practices.



“The disturbing details of misconduct by the Washington Commanders and Dan Snyder that we’ve seen in extensive public reporting are deeply troubling,” Racine said. “No one should face mistreatment at work and no organization can evade the law.”

Racine’s office said their harassment investigation began in the fall of 2021 and was based on public reporting and independent investigations. The office also says it has over half a million pages of documents from the Washington Commanders and the NFL, with more expected for review.

“The Commanders’ players and employees, and District residents, deserve a thorough investigation that determines exactly what happened and holds those accountable for any illegal conduct,” Racine said.

Earlier on Monday, in a letter to the Commanders, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said that the office was not prejudging the issues raised in the investigation of the Commanders.

“I view it as my responsibility to carefully examine the material facts regarding this matter after it was brought to my attention,” Miyares said in the letter penned on April 25.

Miyares said that his office hoped for full cooperation and transparency and added that Deputy Attorney General Steven Popps would lead the commonwealth’s inquiry.

WTOP reached out to Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh to confirm any intent to investigate the Commanders or owner Daniel Snyder. A spokesperson for the office said that it will not confirm or deny the existence of investigations.

Commanders investigations continue amid scrutiny

When asked for comment on Virginia’s investigation, a spokesperson for the Washington Commanders referred to a previous statement categorically denying “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,” the spokesperson told WTOP. “We continue to cooperate fully with the Committee’s work.”

The committee investigation recently cited evidence that the team’s financial conduct could have been unlawful. The Commanders denied the allegations made by former employee Jason Friedman —  including withholding ticket revenue from visiting teams and refundable deposits from fans — and included emails with revenue totals and signed affidavits by four former team employees in a response to the FTC on April 18.

The NFL has said it engaged former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White “to review the most serious matters raised by the committee” — notably an allegation by a former team employee that owner Dan Snyder groped her, which Snyder denies.

In 2021, the NFL fined Snyder $10 million and temporarily transferred day-to-day operations of the franchise to his wife, Tanya, following the league’s investigation into sexual harassment claims by team executives. Its findings have not been released publicly, and leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform have pressed the NFL to turn over details of that probe.

Not everyone agrees with the House’s investigation into Snyder. Last week, Republican James Comer called the House Committee on Oversight and Reform investigation into the Washington Commanders a “sham.”

“Unfortunately, your so-called ‘investigation’ into the Washington Commanders (the Team)
lacks even any foundation for exercising congressional oversight authority,” Comer said in a letter to Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney.

Snyder has been a longtime Republican supporter, donating thousands to GOP campaigns, according to nonprofit Open Secrets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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