House Republicans criticized over ‘sexualized’ photos in Commanders memo

The lawyers representing dozens of former Commanders cheerleaders called out House Republicans on Tuesday, saying they disseminated “sexualized and salacious photographs” of former cheerleaders in a memo last week.

In a statement Tuesday, the lawyers singled out Rep. James Comer, who represents Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District and is the ranking GOP member of the House Oversight Committee. Comer has been critical of the investigation of the Commanders, carried out by House Democrats who currently lead the panel.



And the photos — which the lawyers say “show women’s breasts, buttocks and genital areas” — were included with the GOP response to the committee’s investigation.

The committee’s report accused the Commanders of a “toxic work culture,” and it accused owner Daniel Snyder of inappropriately touching a former employee and of producing a video of “sexually suggestive footage” of cheerleaders.

“Our clients are both humiliated and incensed by the GOP’s reckless dissemination of these photographs in an official Congressional document,” attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz wrote to Comer in a letter Tuesday. “They also feel retaliated against by Republican Committee members who have apparently chosen to embarrass them publicly for coming forward.

“There was simply no legitimate reason for GOP members to have done this, and it has caused our clients additional and unnecessary pain. Our clients believe that releasing these photos was a desperate effort to protect Mr. Snyder from the scathing findings contained in the Committee’s final report, at their expense.”

The Oversight Committee began its investigation after the NFL declined to release a report on its own review of the team’s workplace.

Banks and Katz said the photos could have been referenced instead of attached in the GOP memo, and they demand that the photos be removed from congressional servers, websites and the Congressional Record.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, a Republican committee aide said the Oversight Committee is not “the proper venue” for an investigation of the Commanders.

“Republicans issued an internal memo that included information showing that there is more evidence to be considered,” the aide said. “Prior to circulating the internal memo, Committee staff took steps to ensure all sensitive images involving cheerleaders were redacted and their identities kept confidential.”

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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