Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder 'tried to bribe and intimidate ...

Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder 'tried to bribe and intimidate ...
Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder 'tried to bribe and intimidate ...

Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder reportedly attempted to interfere with the NFL's investigation into sexual harassment and hostile workplace claims against the club with the help of attorneys, private investigators, and an attempt to bribe a woman who accused the billionaire of sexual misconduct in 2009.

As reported by the Washington Post, Snyder sought to prevent former employees from speaking to independent investigator Beth Wilkinson, a prominent attorney who was originally hired by the Washington Football Team (WFT) in 2020 to investigate the hostile workplace claims against the club.

The NFL promptly took control of the investigation in the summer of 2020 and Wilkinson began reporting to commissioner Roger Goodell's office until July, when the WFT was fined $10 million and Snyder temporarily stepped away from day-to-day control of the franchise.

Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder (pictured) reportedly attempted to interfere with the NFL's investigation into sexual harassment and hostile workplace claims against the club with the help of attorneys, private investigators, and an attempt to bribe a woman who accused the billionaire of sexual misconduct in 2009

Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder (pictured) reportedly attempted to interfere with the NFL's investigation into sexual harassment and hostile workplace claims against the club with the help of attorneys, private investigators, and an attempt to bribe a woman who accused the billionaire of sexual misconduct in 2009

As reported by the Washington Post , Snyder sought to prevent former employees from speaking to independent investigator Beth Wilkinson (pictured), a prominent attorney who was originally hired by the Washington Football Team (WFT) in 2020 to investigate the hostile workplace claims against the club

Attorney David Donovan led the investigation that exonerated Snyder, his then employer, in 2009

As reported by the Washington Post, Snyder sought to prevent former employees from speaking to independent investigator Beth Wilkinson (left), a prominent attorney who was originally hired by the Washington Football Team (WFT) in 2020 to investigate the hostile workplace claims against the club. The NFL promptly took control of the investigation in the summer of 2020 and Wilkinson began reporting to commissioner Roger Goodell's office until July, when the WFT was fined $10 million and Snyder temporarily stepped away from day-to-day control of the franchise. The NFL did not release the findings of that investigation, citing privacy issues, but one revelation did surface in December of 2020 when the Washington Post reported that Snyder had settled a sexual misconduct claim for $1.6 million in 2009. The specifics of the allegation are not clear, but the incident reportedly occurred on Snyder's private plane returning from the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. References to the allegation also surfaced in separate court filings, which have been reviewed by DailyMail.com. The woman's allegations were reported to the team's general counsel at the time, David Donovan (right), who led an investigation that exonerated the billionaire owner and accused the woman of lying about her accusations against Snyder, according to The Post. Wilkinson reportedly attempted to interview Snyder's 2009 accuser as part of her probe

When Snyder's attorneys reportedly learned that his accuser still intended to speak to investigators, Donovan sued Wilkinson in federal court in an effort to bar her from speaking to NFL officials about the settlement

When Snyder's attorneys reportedly learned that his accuser still intended to speak to investigators, Donovan sued Wilkinson in federal court in an effort to bar her from speaking to NFL officials about the settlement

Allegations against team employees ranged from inappropriate comments to the creation of a lewd behind-the-scenes video from a cheerleader calendar shoot in 2008, according to a 2020 Washington Post report. Snyder, himself, was accused of making inappropriate comments to one cheerleader, but he denied the claim. Nearly all of the accused employees have left the team or were dismissed.

The NFL did not release the findings of that investigation, citing privacy issues, but one revelation did surface in December of 2020 when the Washington Post reported that Snyder had settled a sexual misconduct claim for $1.6 million in 2009. 

The specifics of the allegation are not clear, but the incident reportedly occurred on Snyder's private plane returning from the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. References to the allegation also surfaced in separate court filings, which have been reviewed by DailyMail.com.

The woman's allegations were reported to the team's general counsel at the time, David Donovan, who led an investigation that exonerated the billionaire owner and accused the woman of lying about her accusations against Snyder, according to The Post.    

Wilkinson reportedly attempted to interview Snyder's 2009 accuser as part of her probe.

But although Snyder pledged he would cooperate 'with all aspects of the investigation,' the accuser's attorney, Brendan Sullivan, reportedly wrote in a letter that was later filed in federal court that the WFT owner offered his client additional money if she refused to speak to Wilkinson about the settlement.

And when Snyder's attorneys reportedly learned that the woman still intended to speak to investigators, Donovan sued Wilkinson in federal court, in an effort to bar her from speaking to NFL officials about the settlement. 

Sullivan declined to comment on the case when contacted by DailyMail.com. Wilkinson also declined to speak with the Washington Post.

Snyder's attorneys have issued a denial.

'Untrue,' said A. Scott Bolden of the law firm Reed Smith, which represents Snyder. 'It did not happen. Absolutely no effort was made by me or any Reed Smith lawyers to dissuade anyone from speaking with Beth Wilkinson or otherwise cooperating with her investigation, nor was any money offered to anyone not to cooperate. Anyone suggesting something to the contrary is lying.'

Snyder's attorneys also filed petitions in federal court in an apparent attempt to publicly identify former employees who spoke to the Washington Post for the 2020 articles that prompted the NFL to launch the sexual harassment probe.

According to the Post, one judge suggested that Snyder was trying to 'burden and harass' former employees who were speaking to the media.

Furthermore, Snyder's private investigators contacted former employees or their friends and relatives, which many saw as an act of intimidation, according to The Post.

A similar accusation surfaced in October, when former WFT employee Melanie Coburn told Fox News that private investigators had questioned her about former club president Bruce Allen - one of Snyder's perceived enemies who was fired in Washington after a 3-13 season in 2019.

'He sent over a dozen private investigators to my colleagues' homes across the country … to show up on cheerleaders' doorstops and ask them what their relationship with Bruce Allen was,' Coburn said.

Allen was the recipient of racist and homophobic emails from longtime NFL coach and television analyst Jon Gruden that surfaced in the NFL's hostile workplace probe into the WFT. The 58-year-old Gruden resigned as Las Vegas Raiders head coach in October after the emails he sent to Allen between 2011 and 2018 appeared in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Melanie Coburn, a former employee of the Washington Football Team, speaks to reporters during the NFL football owners meeting on Tuesday in New York. Coburn, who worked with the team's cheerleaders for 14 years, claims Snyder leaked the emails in an effort to push blame for the team's sexual harassment scandal onto Allen. She has also called on the NFL to release the findings of its investigation into the Washington Football Team

Melanie Coburn, a former employee of the Washington Football Team, speaks to reporters during the NFL football owners meeting on Tuesday in New York. Coburn, who worked with the team's cheerleaders for 14 years, claims Snyder leaked the emails in an effort to push blame for the team's sexual harassment scandal onto Allen. She has also called on the NFL to release the findings of its investigation into the Washington Football Team 

In the emails, which Gruden sent when he worked as an on-air analyst for ESPN, the decorated coach used a racist trope to describe players' union executive director DeMaurice Smith, an African American, and called commissioner Goodell a 'f*****.'

There has been speculation that the emails were leaked by the Snyders or their employees.

NBC's Peter King, a veteran NFL reporter, wrote that 'several smart people in the league think the leaks come from the Snyder camp' and that reporting has since been matched by the

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