The House Committee on Oversight and Reform accepted an offer from Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder to testify by videoconference on July 28, but said he could not do so voluntarily as had asked his lawyer.
In a letter Tuesday from Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) to Snyder’s attorney, Karen Patton Seymour, the committee said it would only accept her testimony under a subpoena. The committee reissued a subpoena for Snyder and gave his attorney a noon Wednesday deadline to accept.
The committee had first issued a subpoena on June 24 for a deposition six days later, but that subpoena was not accepted.
Maloney wrote that the committee wanted Snyder to testify under a subpoena to ensure that his “evidence will be full and complete and will not be limited as it would be if the deposition were made voluntarily.”
Maloney also cited Snyder’s “month-long refusal” to cooperate with the committee as another factor in his appearing by subpoena.
Dave Rapallo, director of the Federal Legislation Clinic at Georgetown University and Democratic staff director for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform from 2011 to 2021, said last week that there was a significant difference between testifying voluntarily and being subpoenaed.
“If you are under subpoena, you must answer the question posed,” Rapallo said. “If it’s voluntary and you’re not under a subpoena, you don’t do it.”
If Snyder testified voluntarily, Rapallo said, he could claim he can’t answer because of nondisclosure agreements. Maloney said in the letter “Mr. Snyder has a disturbing history of using NDAs to cover up workplace misconduct – behavior which is at the heart of our investigation – and it would be entirely inappropriate for him to employ the same tactic to withhold information from the Committee.”
Many employees and former employees who participated in the NFL’s internal survey of commanders’ work culture have signed nondisclosure agreements.
Commanders did not immediately respond with a statement regarding the letter.
Maloney said the committee already agreed to let Snyder testify remotely and give him access to transcribed interviews of other witnesses as well as provide him with a “description of the types of information redacted by the committee in each of these prior transcripts.” .
In his letter to the committee last week, Seymour said Snyder planned to be in Israel for “much of July” and “through August” to celebrate the first anniversary of his mother’s death. Seymour said she would travel to Israel for Snyder’s video deposition, which would be conducted in private, but the committee may choose to release all or part of the transcript.
Seymour said in the letter that she had already worked in Europe on the previously proposed dates of July 6 and July 8. She was also in Europe for work on June 22 when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testified at a hearing into the investigation. Seymour said Snyder would agree to testify on July 28 or 29 — the last two days the House is in session before its August recess.
COs are scheduled to begin training camp on July 27, with the team’s first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on August 13.
Snyder regularly attended his team’s training camp until recent years. In 2019, he only arrived at camp in August due to vacation plans. In 2020, he did not attend due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He did not attend last year after his wife, Tanya, took over responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the team after the NFL imposed a record $10 million fine, following the investigation internal league report on sexual misconduct and workplace culture within the Washington franchise. .
At NFL meetings in March, Goodell said Snyder would not be representing the team on a daily basis for “the foreseeable future” and that they would discuss his return “at some point.” According to a league source, that discussion has yet to take place.
Snyder traveled to France in June to attend an awards ceremony the same week he had been asked by the committee to testify with Goodell. During Goodell’s testimony on June 22, Maloney announced that she planned to subpoena Snyder for a deposition.