Updated Nov 10, 2022 - News

D.C. attorney general sues Washington Commanders, team owner and NFL

Dan Snyder

Photo: John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine took new aim at Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Commanders, alleging in a lawsuit announced Thursday that he and the NFL deceived D.C. residents about the league’s investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct.

Why it matters: Racine said he plans to subpoena Snyder as part of a civil lawsuit that alleges the embattled owner, the franchise, the NFL, and league commissioner Roger Goodell violated a D.C. consumer protection law to benefit financially.

  • Racine alleged the league’s “so-called independent investigation,” led by lawyer Beth Wilkinson, was riddled with interference from Snyder and that the public did not receive its findings beyond a seven-sentence statement.

What they're saying: “The Commanders and Dan Snyder lied to D.C. residents about what they knew about a toxic culture of sexual harassment and then they entered into a secret agreement with the NFL and Commissioner Goodell that kept the truth from D.C. residents — all in an effort to protect their profits," Racine said in a statement.

The other side: John Brownlee and Stuart Nash, lawyers for the Commanders, said in a statement: "We agree with AG Racine on one thing: the public needs to know the truth."

  • The lawyers said the suit "repeats a lot of innuendo, half-truths and lies," but welcomed the "opportunity to defend the organization -- for the first time -- in a court of law and to establish, once and for all, what is fact and what is fiction."

The big picture: Multiple women have accused Snyder and other team officials of sexual harassment, spurring investigations into and scrutiny of him and the team from Democrats in Congress. Snyder took part in a private, virtual deposition for a House committee in late July, after spending part of the summer on his yacht in the Mediterranean.

  • "The depositions are not likely to occur on a yacht, but in a conference room in the District of Columbia," Racine said during a news conference.
  • Racine said the suit could produce a payout with “a lot of zeros,” alluding to his previous consumer protection claims against other companies that resulted in multi-million dollar settlements

The intrigue: Racine said his office would soon have an update on a separate investigation into the Commanders' ticket sales revenue.

Catch up quick: Snyder hired a bank this month to explore selling the team.

This story has been updated with additional details.


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