House Oversight Committee requests Dan Snyder, Washington Commanders owner, to reconsider his decision not to testify at hearing

The House Oversight Committee chairwoman pleaded Washington Commanders Owner Dan Snyder will reconsider his decision to not testify at the hearing next week. He also stated that his reasons for declining their invitation were inaccurate.

Carolyn Maloney, Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New York, sent a six page letter to Snyder's lawyer, Karen Patten Seymour. It stated that Snyder could testify at the hearing on June 22, just like Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner. Maloney gave Snyder until Monday at 9 a.m. to decide whether he wanted to change his mind following what she called “additional accommodation.”

The investigation into Snyder began in October by Congress, just four months after Snyder's own investigation was completed by the NFL. Washington was fined $10 million by the league. Congress began an investigation after complaining about the NFL's lack of transparency into what was discovered. Attorney Beth Wilkinson gave her report orally, leading ultimately to the initial penalty.

Tiffani Johnston, a former employee, claimed that Snyder had placed his hand under her table at a business dinner in February and tried to force her into his limousine.

Seymour wrote a five-page explanation to the Committee on Wednesday explaining why Snyder wouldn't testify.

Seymour claimed that Snyder would be leaving the country for a long-planned, business trip. Seymour also stated that Snyder had requested documents in advance.

Maloney stated that Seymour had made “numbers inaccurate assertions, demands and requests” in his letter. However, he did not provide any reason for Mr. Snyder to refuse to appear.

Maloney claimed that the Committee offered to accommodate Snyder’s plans to attend an award ceremony in France by allowing him to appear remotely.

Maloney stated that Mr. Snyder had not identified any scheduling issues that would prevent him testifying before the Committee when he is out of the country.

She stated that Snyder didn't say he couldn’t return to the hearing if he wanted to testify in person. Maloney also stated that they gave him three weeks notice, which, according to the letter, is beyond their usual timeframe.

Maloney stated that “any suggestion that Mr. Snyder was unfairly treated by the Committee is unfounded,” especially considering that Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, has agreed to testify at the same hearing.

She claimed that Snyder's demands exceeded what the Committee has done previously. She said that they wanted to know the identities of any witnesses who have testified about Snyder and/or the team – and whether these witnesses have made accusations about Snyder or the team. They wanted to know what the substance of those claims was.

Maloney stated that Snyder would be allowed to testify if they were willing to give copies of documents from the NFL to the Committee. They will also comply with Snyder's request to have copies of documents that they intend to use during questioning. Maloney stated that the Committee wasn't under any obligation to provide these documents but would provide them if Snyder agreed.

Maloney wrote that Seymour had misunderstood when she said any alleged misconduct took place “more than 10 years ago.” Maloney cited testimony from a former employee that she had been sexually harassed in 2019.

After sexual harassment allegations were discovered by the Washington Post, multiple Washington employees were fired. Others were also charged with harassment and had resigned or left the company by that time.

Maloney said Snyder could testify in spite of ongoing investigations. This was another reason why Snyder hesitated to testify according to his attorney's letters. After Johnston's allegations, the NFL opened a new investigation. The attorney generals of Virginia and Washington, D.C. have opened an investigation into financial improprieties. These claims were rejected by the team, who sent a 105-page document with signed affidavits to Federal Trade Commission.

Maloney wrote, “Congress has always investigated matters subjected to parallel proceedings.”

Maloney also dismissed Snyder's claim about how the Committee didn't provide more information about the scope and nature of the investigation. She highlighted multiple instances in which they outlined their purpose. Republicans on the Committee rejected the reason for the investigation.

Maloney claimed that Snyder, by refusing to testify, refuses “to accept accountability for his actions in relation to the culture he fostered within his staff.”

She claimed that Snyder's refusal not to testify was inconsistent to his repeated commitments of cooperation with the Committee. She stated that it would “cast doubt upon your assertions that the Commanders represent an example of how to make extraordinary workplace culture improvements.”

Maloney had earlier introduced two pieces legislation that were based on Congress' investigation into Commanders. The Accountability For Workplace Misconduct Act (the first bill) focuses on the misuse of non-disclosure agreement.

The Professional Images Protection Act is the other bill. It stems from claims that Snyder was shown videos of Washington's cheerleaders naked while they were filming for a photo shoot. The bill would give employees the right to control how their images are used in business.

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