ASHBURN, Va. Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder informed the House Oversight Committee by letter that he would not testify during their June 22 hearing, saying he would be out of the country.
It had long been expected that Snyder would refuse to testify. In the four-page letter, attorney Karen Patton Seymour said Snyder was willing to testify, but that the committee “is not willing to consider changing the date of the hearing.”
The letter stated that Snyder had a “long-running commander-related business conflict and is out of the country on the first and only date the committee has proposed for the hearing.”
According to a spokesman for the committee, “The committee intends to proceed with this hearing. We are currently considering Mr. Snyder’s letter and will respond.”
Congress began examining Snyder and Washington’s workplace culture under him in October. It is also investigating allegations of sexual assault by Snyder, an indictment filed by former employee Tiffani Johnston during a roundtable session of the committee.
On June 1, the House Oversight Committee invited Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to testify during the June 22 hearing. It is uncertain whether Goodell will testify. The committee could still choose to change the date of the hearing, as sometimes happens in less discussed situations. It may also issue a subpoena to Snyder.
Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, representing at least 40 former Commanders employees, said in a statement that “We, along with our clients, are disappointed but not surprised that Dan Snyder does not have the courage to volunteer. We expect “It is time for Mr. Snyder to know that he is not above the law.”
According to the letter, Snyder’s lawyers responded five days later by asking the committee to provide more information about the scope of the inquiry. It also stated that the committee would not guarantee that the questions addressed to Snyder would be limited to the organization’s historical workplace issues.
The committee would also not agree to provide copies of documents that “members of the committee intend to ask Mr. Snyder about,” which Seymour described in the letter as a courtesy “I understand that it is often extended to witnesses at congressional hearings.”
The letter also said Snyder’s lawyers asked for “basic information” about Johnston’s allegations – “as to when and where it allegedly happened, and who else was present.” According to the letter, the committee refused to provide the information. Snyder has denied the allegations.
The NFL also hired attorney Mary Jo White to investigate Johnston’s allegations. The league fined Washington $ 10 million on July 1, 2021, as a result of the investigation into the work culture under Snyder.
Attorneys General in Virginia and Washington, DC, are investigating allegations of financial wrongdoing alleged by a former employee. The team responded with a 105-page letter with signed statements disproving the allegations.