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House Oversight Committee chides Daniel Snyder for being “afraid” to testify

Mike Florio explains why it makes sense that Daniel Snyder will not speak at a public hearing Wednesday on alleged misconduct in the Washington Commanders organization.

If Daniel Snyder indeed reconsidered his decision to not testify before the U.S. House Oversight & Reform Committee on Wednesday, he ended up making the same decision as before. Chances are he spent no time reconsidering his position at all.

Via Mark Maske of the Washington Post, Snyder’s lawyer has sent a letter to the Committee regarding Friday’s request that Snyder reconsider his decision not to testify and instead make himself available. A Committee spokesperson had this to say in response: “His refusal to testify sends an unmistakable signal that Mr. Snyder has something to hide and is afraid of coming clean to the American public and addressing major worker protection concerns facing the NFL.”

The fact that there is something to hide has been obvious since last July 1, when the NFL hid all facts developed during a 10-month investigation by attorney Beth Wilkinson, instead trotting out a ridiculous argument that, because some current or former employees wanted anonymity, everything about the investigation should be kept secret.

Once the Jon Gruden emails became public, it became untenable for him to remain the coach of the Raiders. If/when specific facts harvested or recommendations crafted by Wilkinson became public, it quite possibly would become untenable for Snyder to remain the owner of the Commanders. That’s why, in my opinion, everything has been hidden.

From Snyder’s perspective, the consequences of not appearing to testify are better for him than the consequences of actually showing up. Even without Snyder, Commissioner Roger Goodell will be appearing and testifying. It will be interesting to see whether the various Committee members are able to drill down to the truth, and to break through the disingenuous defense that Big Shield has used to protect Snyder and, in turn, to ensure that other owners won’t have to worry about a complaint from a disgruntled employee spiraling into a no-stones-unturned audit of the business that could force that owner to sell, too.