More facts are coming to light regarding the recent reporting as to alleged financial irregularities within the Washington Commanders organization.
According to Daniel Kaplan of TheAthletic.com, an employee who spent 24 years working for the Commanders has tested before the US House Committee on Oversight & Reform and “alleged financial malfeasance.” Jason Friedman gave the secret testimony, which as Kaplan writes “appeared to” spark multiple reports in recent days, including the bombshell contention that the team withheld payments from the ticket revenues that go into a league-wide visiting-team pool.
Kaplan, citing an unnamed source, reports that “Friedman supplied no evidence to back up his claims.” Kaplan also points out that it’s unclear whether Friedman held a position that would have given him access to records or other evidence that would support the claims.
Friedman previously supplied a letter to the Committee corroborating the allegations made by former team employee Tiffani Johnston against Commanders owner Daniel Snyder. His testimony presumably addressed that incident, along with his claims about financial irregularities.
A spokesman for Republican members of the Committee apparently took indirect aim at Friedman with this comment, released in the aftermath of recent reporting: “The leak of one-sided, unconfirmed, unsupported allegations from a disgruntled ex-employee with an ax to grind is just further proof the Democrats’ investigation is a waste of Congress’ time. Nothing the committee has heard from any credible witness points to any financial improprieties; in fact, the only credible witness in a position to know the facts the Democrats have heard from has denied any such improprieties.”
As we see it, there’s no gray area here. Financial improprieties happened, or they didn’t. Friedman’s testimony is a starting point. The ending point is proof to support his claims or proof to debunk his claims (or the absence of proof to support his claims).
And if there’s nothing to any of this, it’s safe to assume that the league or the team will say so, loudly.
The Commanders issued a statement last week, in the aftermath of the initial reporting regarding potential financial improprieties. There has been no specific statement since Saturday’s report from AJ Perez of FrontOfficeSports.com regarding the allegation that money was withheld from the visiting-team fund.
Given the potential implications of this specific claim, which if true would undoubtedly bring down Snyder, it’s hard to imagine that the league and the team will remain silent.