Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder is asking a federal court for permission to search through text messages and other communications made by former team president Bruce Allen.
Allen, who worked for the team for a decade until his firing at the end of the 2019 season, is alleged to have been a source for negative reporting about the team and Snyder that came out last spring.
The filing is in conjunction with a lawsuit filed in India against a company named MEAWW, which ran unsubstantiated allegations against Snyder in the weeks leading up to a series of Washington Post reports about sexual misconduct among team executives.
In the California filing, Snyder’s legal team notes that Allen was “rarely, if ever,” mentioned in the exposés, despite his “hands-on role in running the Team on a day-to-day basis.”
It continues: “This glaring omission raises further questions about Respondent’s possible role in and/or knowledge of the creation, solicitation, drafting and publication of the Defamatory Articles.”
Snyder’s lawsuit also alleges that Allen spoke with John Moag, a Baltimore investment banker representing the team’s three minority shareholders, who wished to sell their stake in the team, on a number of occasions.
“In the 6 weeks leading up to the publication of the Defamatory Articles ... (Allen) and Mr. Moag spoke 21 times for 270 minutes, or 4.5 hours,” the lawsuit alleges.
A text message from Moag was a central piece of evidence in a lawsuit between Snyder and those minority partners.
The text read, in part: “If you continue your game, you know what I know and what I have never spoken about. And you know it has nothing to do with the media s.... it’s the more series s.”
That lawsuit was later dismissed after the parties reached an agreement that led to the Snyder family purchasing full control of the team.
The NFL took over an investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations, but a league spokesman said in March the final report has not yet been received.