Monday’s statement by Daniel Snyder, the attorney representing the Washington Commanders owner, was a reminder that Snyder would not testify before Congress June 22, despite being asked by the committee to reconsider.
Karen Patton Seymour declined to accept the invitation from House Oversight Committee, which was investigating the Commanders’ alleged sexual misconduct. “toxic workplace culture,”Snyder was adamant that he had a “longstanding Commanders-related business conflict”and is currently out of country at the end June. Seymour had also requested copies from documents that committee members intends to use in their questioning.
Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), sent Snyder’s lawyer a six-page letter on Friday stating that Snyder could testify virtually at the hearing on June 22, similar to what Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, is expected to do. The chairwoman stated that the committee was not required to provide documents but would do so if Snyder agreed.
Seymour wrote Monday the committee that “Mr. Snyder’s business conflict was scheduled long before then and cannot be rescheduled. Moreover, your letter’s suggestion that Mr. Snyder may testify remotely does not address my concern that a virtual appearance would not sufficiently protect Mr. Snyder’s interest in having his counsel physically present with him.”
She continued, ” “The Snyders and the Team remain fully willing to cooperate with the Committee, and are eager to share the cultural transformation undertaken by the Commanders if the Committee is interested in obtaining that information in a manner consistent with appropriate due process and fairness protections.”
A spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee said that ESPN had received a statement from him. “If Mr. Snyder was truly committed to cooperating with the Committee’s investigation, he would have accepted the Committee’s invitation to testify about the Commanders’ toxic workplace culture. As the Chairwoman’s letter made clear, the Committee has been more than accommodating-even allowing Mr. Snyder to testify remotely from France. His refusal to testify sends an unmistakable signal that Mr. Snyder has something to hide and is afraid of coming clean to the American public and addressing major worker protection concerns facing the NFL. The Committee will not be deterred in its investigation to uncover the truth of workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders.”
The NFL fined the Commanders $10M in July 2021 after an investigation into Snyder’s workplace culture. The investigation was initiated by Congress in October. It is currently investigating allegations made by a former employee that Snyder sexually harassed her in 2019.
Washington fired several employees after the fact The Washington Post has reported on allegations of sexual harassmentIn the summer of 2020. Others who were also accused of sexual harassment had already quit the organization or resigned in that summer.
Maloney claimed Snyder could testify, despite ongoing investigations. That was another reason Snyder hesitated, according to his lawyer’s letter. After the allegations of the former employee, the NFL opened a new investigation. The Attorney Generals of Virginia and Washington, D.C. are also investigating allegations of financial improprieties.
“Congress has long investigated matters subject to parallel proceedings,”Maloney wrote.
Snyder refused to testify, she said. “accept accountability for his actions for the culture he has fostered within his team”He casts doubt on his abilities “assertion that the Commanders are now a model of how to make extraordinary improvements in workplace culture.”
This report was contributed by John Keim, ESPN.