ASHBURN, Va. —The owner Dan Snyder wrote to the House Oversight Committee announcing that he will not testify at the hearing on June 22, and that he would be traveling abroad.
Snyder was expected to decline to testify. In a letter of four pages, Karen Patton Seymour, an attorney, stated that Snyder was willing and able to testify, but that the committee was not open to changing the hearing's date.
In the letter, Snyder stated that he had a long-standing Commanders-related conflict in his business and was therefore out of country on the first and last date the Committee proposed for the hearing.
A spokesperson for the committee said that “The Committee intends forward with this hearing.” We are currently reviewing the letter of Mr. Snyder and will respond accordingly.
In October, Congress began investigating Snyder's and Washington's workplace culture. It is also looking into claims of sexual misconduct made by Snyder by a former employee, Tiffani Johnsonston, in a roundtable session held before the committee.
Snyder and Roger Goodell were invited by the House Oversight Committee to testify at the hearing on June 22. It is not yet clear if Goodell will testify. As is often the case in less publicized situations, the committee may still change the date. It could also issue Snyder a subpoena.
Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, attorneys representing at least 40 former Commanders employees said that they were disappointed, but not surprised, that Dan Snyder did not appear voluntarily. We expect that the Committee will issue subpoenas to force Mr. Snyder to appear. It is time for Mr. Snyder to realize that he is not above law.
Snyder's attorneys replied five days later to the letter asking for more information from the committee about the scope of their inquiry. It stated that Snyder would not be able to guarantee that the inquiry directed at him would only focus on historical workplace issues.
The committee would not agree to give copies of documents “members” of the Committee intending to question Mr. Snyder about. Seymour described the letter as a courtesy, “I understand is often extended at witnesses at congressional hearings.”
Snyder's lawyers requested “basic information,” according to the letter. This included details about Johnston's allegations, such as “when and where it allegedly occurred and who else was there.” The letter stated that the committee declined to supply the information. Snyder denies the charges.
Mary Jo White was hired by the NFL to investigate Johnston’s claims. In response to its investigation into Snyder's workplace culture and behavior, the league fined Washington $10M on July 1, 2021.
In Virginia and Washington, D.C., the attorneys general are investigating allegations of financial improprieties by a former employee. The team replied with a 105-page response with signed affidavits, rebutting the allegations.