Snyder declines to appear at Congressional hearing


Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has declined a Congressional committee’s request for him to testify at a June 22 hearing in an ongoing investigation into the organization’s history of workplace misconduct. 

The story was first reported by Axios on Wednesday morning. 

Snyder’s lawyer cited a scheduling conflict and concerns over due process in a four-page letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform obtained by Axios. There is also a pending NFL investigation into a specific sexual harassment allegation made against Snyder by a former Washington employee during an Oversight Committee roundtable in February. 

"The Committee intends to move forward with this hearing," an Oversight Committee spokesperson told NBC Sports Washington. "We are currently reviewing Mr. Snyder's letter and will respond."

The Oversight Committee in a June 1 letter had requested Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appear at its June 22 hearing. Goodell will appear virtually, an NFL spokesman confirmed to NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey on Wednesday evening. 

Snyder's legal team requested more information on any overlap between the Oversight Committee’s hearing and the investigation being conducted on the NFL's behalf by attorney Mary Jo White, the former chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

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Snyder's attorney Karen Patton Seymour, according to a letter obtained by Axios, wrote to House Oversight Committee chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y. that the Commanders owner remains “fully willing to cooperate with the Committee in all other respects,” including “reasonable requests regarding his potential appearance” but that Snyder would not appear at the June 22 hearing.

The committee’s investigation into the Commanders’ workplace culture has spanned eight months. The probe has focused on widespread claims of sexual harassment and grown to include allegations of financial impropriety

Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, attorneys who represent more than 40 former Washington football team employees, called on the Oversight Committee to subpoena Snyder. 

"We, along with our clients, are disappointed but not surprised that Dan Snyder does not have the courage to appear voluntarily," Banks and Katz said in a statement. "We fully expect the Committee will issue a subpoena to compel Mr. Snyder to appear. It is time that Mr. Snyder learns that he is not above the law,"

The congressional investigation began four months after attorney Beth Wilkinson completed her own 10-month investigation into Washington football's 'toxic' workplace culture at the behest of the NFL. Her findings were given verbally to Goodell but never put in written form or released publicly. That decision spurred the Oversight Committee to begin its own investigation.