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NFL

The NFL clarifies that they will lead investigation and not the Washington Commanders

As details in the scandal involving the Washington Commanders continue to emerge, the team announced its own investigation. Many are not pleased.

Update:
As details in the scandal involving the Washington Commanders continue to emerge, the team announced its own investigation. Many are not pleased.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the controversial saga involving the NFL and the Washington Commanders continues to unfold, there has been yet another development with the league's latest announcement.

The NFL clarifies its role in Commanders probe

According to reports on Wednesday The NFL stated that an independent investigation will be conducted into allegations of misconduct by Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder, moreover the investigation itself will be conducted by the league itself. "Last week, the League stated that we will review and consider Ms. [Tiffani] Johnston's allegations as we would any others regarding workplace conduct at the Washington Commanders. The League, not the team, will conduct an independent investigation and will be retaining an investigator to determine the facts shortly."

As was previously reported here on AS USA, Johnston, who was employed by the team for eight years, told a congressional round table that she was "strategically" seated next to Snyder at a work dinner so that he could put "his hand on the middle of my thigh until I physically removed it." Johnston added that she believed it was done with sexual intent and most definitely without her consent. Johnston also gave an account of another scenario in which she alleged that Snyder "aggressively pushed" her toward the door of his limo later that night before his attorney stopped him while advising him not to enact a "very bad idea."

Of course the league's comments come after on the back of an intensely critical response to the news that the Commanders commissioned their own "independent" investigation into the matter. As understood in reports on Wednesday, the franchise contracted Pallas Global Group LLC to launch a probe into the claims made by Tiffani Johnston. The legal team was to be led by Debra Yang, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP in Los Angeles. "The Team is committed to a thorough and independent investigation of Ms. Johnston's allegation, and pledges full cooperation with the investigation," the franchise said in its statement. "At the conclusion of the investigation, Ms. Yang will report her findings to Pallas Global Group, and those findings will be released to the public."

Many are not happy with the Commanders announcement

With Washington's announcement of their intention to investigate, serious concerns have been raised about transparency, indeed Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi D-I.L., who actually was a host of the congressional panel, told ESPN that the latest move by the Commanders was "disturbing." Krishnamoorthi went on to double down on his stance saying, "Dan Snyder already called Tiffani Johnston a liar and so for him to then hire an investigator to look at those claims begs the question of whether the investigation will really be impartial or unbiased. Or will it be prejudiced in favor of Dan Snyder's side of the story, because after all, these investigators and these people are being paid by Dan Snyder."

The Democrat's sentiments were echoed by Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, the attorneys who represent Johnston and over 40 other former team employees. "The idea that Dan Snyder has hired a team to investigate his own actions is utterly absurd," Banks and Katz said in their statement. "This is a desperate public relations stunt, clearly designed to absolve him of wrongdoing. Our client, Tiffani Johnston, already testified credibly to Congress about her experience of being sexually harassed by Mr. Snyder. Her powerful testimony was corroborated by an eyewitness who submitted a statement to Congress. If there is to be any investigation of Ms. Johnston's allegations, it should be conducted by Beth Wilkinson and her team, who have spent the better part of the last year investigating the actions of Mr. Snyder and his top lieutenants. The fact is that Mr. Snyder has gone to great lengths to conceal the truth and his retention of this team is just his latest effort to paint a false picture of his behavior."

"If, as Mr. Snyder claims today, he genuinely wanted the truth about his actions to emerge, he would have embraced the public release of Ms. Wilkinson's findings. Instead, he worked with the NFL to block the release of the Wilkinson report. And now, he has handpicked new investigators to do what apparently the Wilkinson report did not do -- sugarcoat his own actions. Ms. Johnston will not participate in this sham of an investigation, and the public will not be duped into believing that this is anything other than Dan Snyder trying to whitewash his own misconduct."

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