NFL supplies more documents to House committee in wake of deadline

The NFL turned over additional documents to the House Oversight and Reform Committee related to Congress’ investigation into the NFL’s probe of the Washington Commanders, a committee spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did not specify whether the league fully complied with the deadline but said the committee is reviewing the material.

Congress gave the league until 11:59 p.m. Monday to hand over all documents regarding its investigation — a stipulation the two sides have clashed over for months. 

The league has said that it has sent over about 80,000 requested documents, noting that there was certain information that it couldn’t provide because of privilege. Members of the committee, however, have said they want all of the materials. 

Last week, the NFL wrote in a letter that the Commanders, not the league, were blocking access to more than 100,000 documents stashed on a third-party server. The server company won’t provide the materials to the NFL unless the Commanders give stated permission, the league said.

A lawyer for Commanders owner Dan Snyder said the team never withheld any “non-privileged” documents.

Earlier this month, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Illinois Democrat, told reporters that there were 650,000 documents that informed the NFL’s and lead investigator Beth Wilkinson’s investigation of Washington.

“We have been clear that the NFL must stop hiding the results of the Wilkinson investigation and fully comply with the Committee‘s requests, or the Committee will have no choice but to take further action,” a committee spokesperson said Tuesday in a statement. “The Chairs are committed to uncovering the truth about what happened within the Washington Commanders organization and how allegations were handled by the NFL in order to inform legislative efforts to make workplaces safe for everyone.”

The committee has not specified what “further action” it would take if the NFL still hasn’t fully complied. 

But D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who sits on the committee, told WUSA9 that the committee could potentially look to subpoena the documents should the NFL fail to hand over the documents.

“We do have subpoena power,” Norton told the station. “I don’t think we should have to use that. But we will get these documents one way or the other.”

The House Oversight and Reform Committee has issued subpoenas for other investigations. Last November, the committee issued subpoenas for documents to oil and gas companies related to its probe of the oil industry’s effect on climate change. The subpoenas came after the committee asked for the companies to voluntarily supply the records. 

In 2019, the committee also went after then-President Donald Trump’s financial records — a pursuit it renewed in March 2021 when it reissued a subpoena to Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA. In Trump’s case, the subpoena was then challenged in court, with a federal district judge most recently ruling in August that House Democrats could contain some — but not all — of Trump’s financial records. That case is now on appeal. 

When it comes to sports leagues, the committee did subpoena a slew of players and executives from MLB to testify in 2005, when it conducted its investigation of steroid usage in baseball. MLB vowed to fight the effort, but most ultimately appeared in the 11-hour hearing a week later. (The committee withdrew one of the subpoenas days before the hearing.)

Monday marked at least the second deadline set by the committee to the NFL. Back in October, when House Democrats first launched its probe of the league, the committee gave the NFL until Nov. 4 to supply all requested documents. When that deadline was only partially met — the NFL has handed over material on a “rolling basis,” Krishnamoorthi said. — House Democrats continued to press for the material.

The latest demand came on Feb. 4, a day after a congressional roundtable was held in which a former employee accused Snyder of sexual misconduct during a work dinner. That new allegation prompted the NFL to say it would investigate the matter. 

The NFL did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. 

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