The “Common Interest Agreement” suppressing information about the investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson was executed just days after the NFL in August 2020 took over the probe, which started after The Post detailed allegations from more than a dozen women about abuse they experienced working for or interacting with the team..
The existence of the agreement was revealed by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which is reviewing the NFL’s handling of the matter and held a roundtable at which the new allegations of abuse were detailed. Among the charges aired was a claim by a former cheerleader and marketing manager that Mr. Snyder made unwanted sexual advances toward her. Mr. Snyder called the allegations “outright lies,” and on Wednesday the team announced it had hired an outside group to investigate the claims before being overruled by the NFL.
During her 10-month investigation, Ms. Wilkinson interviewed more than 150 witnesses and collected hundreds of thousands of emails and other documents. Little, though, was made public, and save for the team paying a nominal fine and Mr. Snyder’s wife taking over day-to-day team operations, no one was held accountable. According to the House committee, Mr. Goodell personally instructed Ms. Wilkinson not to prepare a written report, contrary to the terms of her engagement agreement stating she would “complete a written report of its findings and make recommendations regarding any remedial measures.”
The league told the committee that the team was responsible for blocking access to more than 100,000 documents from the Wilkinson investigation. Mr. Goodell also has said the decision not to release materials was rooted in concern for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of witnesses who participated in the probe. Not only has that rationale been undermined by the release of the new information, but also it has been challenged by an attorney representing some of the former female employees. In fact, attorney Lisa Banks told us that her clients, including six who testified last week, would not have cooperated in the investigation had they known that the NFL was collaborating with the Washington Football Team. She said they are reviewing legal options. “None of this is good,” she said.
There is now no doubt the NFL was never interested in getting out the truth about Mr. Snyder and his operation; its leaders seemingly thought they could make the scandal go away with promises and PR. Credit the House Democrats for not letting that happen — and let’s hope they succeed in their efforts to uncover what the NFL and Mr. Snyder want to keep hidden.