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Former Commanders Cheerleaders Demand Removal of Photos From Congressional Record

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 13, 2022

The Washington Commanders logo is seen on the field before a NFL football game between the Washington Commanders and the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz wrote a letter to House Committee on Oversight and Reform ranking member James Comer demanding that "sexualized and salacious photographs" of ex-Washington Commanders cheerleaders be removed from all official Congressional records.

Per ESPN's John Keim and Tisha Thompson, Banks and Katz wrote the letter on behalf of over three dozen ex-cheerleaders and stated that they were "humiliated and incensed by the GOP's reckless dissemination of these photographs."

Rebecca Shabad and Michael Kosnar of NBC News noted the attorneys are asking that the photos get erased from any congressional servers, websites and the Congressional Record, if applicable.

The letter is in response to a memo sent by Republicans after the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform released its official report following an investigation into what they called the Commanders' "decades-long toxic workplace culture."

As Keim and Thompson noted, the photographs "were originally sent by the team's former general manager and team president Bruce Allen to former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and several other men" via email. Fifty-seven emails were included in the memo sent by Republicans to GOP staff members and media outlets.

NBC News provided more information regarding the photographs in the memo:

"Republicans released the 210-page memo last week that featured explicit photos of the former cheerleaders. Their lawyers said Tuesday that the images, 'which show women's breasts, buttocks and genital areas, were disseminated without the women's permission.' (The GOP report put black boxes over the women's faces and some body parts.)."

Banks told ESPN that including the photos was "outrageous and "unnecessary, inappropriate and unprofessional."

A Committee Republican aide told ESPN "the pictures are not, and won't be, part of the Congressional record."

As for the report, the committee found that "dozens of employees at the Commanders were harmed by a toxic work culture for more than two decades," and that team owner Dan Snyder "permitted and participated in this troubling conduct," among other findings.