Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder offered to testify via video before House Oversight Committee in July, letter says

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder offered to testify via videoconference before the House Oversight Committee in late July, according to a letter his attorney sent Thursday to Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney. But, his attorney said, they haven’t heard from the committee about the data they filed.

In the letter obtained by ESPN, Snyder’s attorney, Karen Patton Seymour Maloney (D-New York), said she had not heard from the committee since a June 30 phone call to discuss Snyder’s conflicts on other proposed testimony dates. According to the letter, the committee had offered Snyder to be interviewed remotely on July 6 or 8, and Seymour wrote that she had offered July 28 or 29.

The house is in session until July 29th and closes in August.

The committee has been studying work culture in Washington since October.

“We remain committed to securing Mr. Snyder’s testimony regarding the toxic work environment at the Washington Commanders after he failed to appear voluntarily at the committee hearing and continued to refuse to allow his attorney to serve a subpoena,” a spokesman said the committee to ESPN in a statement Thursday. “We continue to negotiate with his attorney to ensure the committee can obtain the full and complete testimony we need and we are reviewing their most recent correspondence.”

The committee is trying to serve Snyder a subpoena to testify, but a spokesman for the committee said last week his attorney has not yet accepted it. The sides continue to negotiate the terms under which Snyder would testify.

In the letter to the committee, Snyder’s attorney said he would testify voluntarily, which Dave Rapallo, director of Georgetown University’s Federal Legislation Clinic and the Democratic staff director of the House Oversight Committee from 2011 to 2021, says is an important distinction from a subpoena.

“If you’re under a subpoena, you have to answer the question asked,” Rapallo said. “If it’s voluntary and you’re not under subpoena, don’t do it.”

Many of the employees and former employees involved in the NFL’s internal investigation into commanders’ workplace culture that resulted in a $10 million fine in July 2021 signed non-disclosure agreements, commonly called NDAs.

If Snyder volunteers, Rapallo explained, “Snyder could tell the committee, ‘I can’t answer the question because there’s a non-disclosure agreement. He can claim that he can’t respond because of the non-disclosure agreement unless there’s a subpoena.”

In her letter, Seymour said Snyder plans to be in Israel “a good part of July” and “through August” to mark the one-year anniversary of his mother’s death. Seymour said she would travel to Israel for Snyder’s video testimony, which would be conducted privately, but the committee may choose to release all or part of the transcript.

Seymour indicated in the letter that she had previous work assignments in Europe on the dates previously proposed. She was also in Europe on business on June 22 when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testified at a hearing on the investigation.

The Commanders are scheduled to begin training camp on July 27, with the team’s first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on August 13.

Snyder has been a regular visitor to his team’s training camp for the last few years. In 2019 he only came to the camp in August due to holiday plans. In 2020 he did not participate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He didn’t participate last year after his wife, Tanya, assumed responsibility for day-to-day operations of the team after the NFL imposed a record-breaking $10 million fine following the league’s internal investigation into sexual misconduct and the work culture within of the Washington franchise.

At NFL league meetings in March, Goodell said Snyder won’t be representing the team on a daily basis for the “foreseeable future” and that they would discuss his return “eventually.” According to a league source, that discussion hasn’t taken place yet. Snyder traveled to France in June to attend an awards ceremony the same week he was invited by the committee to testify with Goodell. During Goodell’s testimony on June 22, Maloney announced that she planned to subpoena Snyder for testimony.

“Rather than show up and take responsibility for his actions, he chose to leave town,” Maloney said during her announcement to subpoena Snyder. She remarked at the time Snyder’s yacht was docked in France. Snyder’s 305-foot yacht, the Lady S, was just off the east coast of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea as of Thursday morning, according to website vesselfinder.com.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34207400/washington-commanders-owner-daniel-snyder-offered-testify-via-video-house-oversight-committee-july-letter-says Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder offered to testify via video before House Oversight Committee in July, letter says

Emma Bowman

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