Washington owner Daniel Snyder continues to pursue a defamation case in India. As part of that process, he continues to pursue through a federal action in Virginia information that will assist the pursuit of the India case. In his latest filing, Snyder comes closer than ever to accusing minority partner Dwight Schar of engineering a smear campaign that included a false link between Snyder and Jeffrey Epstein.
Snyder, through the Virginia case, wants information from Comstock Holding Companies, a private equity fund partially owned by Schar, regarding its relationship with former Washington employee Mary Ellen Blair.
Comstock has objected to Snyder’s effort to obtain information as to the ties between it and Blair. Snyder’s latest filing points out that Blair has received discounted rent from Comstock not only during her employment with the team (like other team employees) but also for three years after her employment ended.
Moreover, Snyder’s counsel writes that Snyder “has ample reason to believe that Blair was actively involved in the same campaign of disparaging media that produced [the meaww.com] defamatory articles about” Snyder. The document adds that information sought from Comstock “is part and parcel of the information concerning Blair’s role in what [Snyder] believes to be a deliberately-organized strategy to defame him.”
Snyder’s counsel also points out that Blair has “had serious financial difficulties” — from liens to judgments to wage garnishments to evictions — for which she received assistance from a “third-party benefactor.” Snyder wants to find out who that benefactor is.
Likewise, Snyder questions Comstock’s opposition to the efforts to obtain information, suggesting “apparent collusion” between Comstock and Blair in connection with Comstock’s request that the Reed Smith law firm, which previously represented Comstock, completely withdraw from the case, even as it relates to Blair. (Reed Smith agrees to withdraw without the court having to address the issue.)
“The fact that Comstock, through its counsel, would assert a baseless conflict claim as to Blair, ostensibly to protect her in this proceeding, evidences more than just a simple landlord-tenant relationship,” Snyder’s counsel writes in the latest filing.
The entire effort by Comstock to prevent Snyder from getting the information he seeks suggests that Comstock is concerned about what the requested information might show. As Snyder’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, told PFT last week regarding Comstock’s efforts: “What’s to hide?”
If the federal court agrees with Snyder’s interpretation of the manner in which the applicable law to the relevant facts, Snyder — along with the rest of us — will find out.