House Oversight Committee urges Daniel Snyder to testify on June 22
The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to testify remotely.
Roger Goodell will testify, Daniel Snyder will not at Congressional hearing
In a four-page letter from Seymour on Wednesday, Snyder declined the committee’s initial invitation to appear at the hearing. Seymour cited issues of “fundamental fairness and due process”. Seymour also wrote that Snyder has a “long-standing CO-related business dispute” and plans to be out of the country by the date of the hearing.
In his response on Friday, Maloney went point-by-point to the reasons Seymour provided on Snyder’s behalf. Maloney called some of those reasons false and others inaccurate, while finding none valid.
“Your June 6 and June 15 letters to the Committee contain a number of inaccurate assertions and requests but do not include any valid reason for Mr. Snyder’s refusal to appear at the June 22 hearing,” a- she writes.
“The Committee intends to move forward with this hearing and uncover the truth about the toxic work culture among commanders under Mr. Snyder’s leadership,” Maloney wrote. “I am writing today to respond to certain characterization errors and requests in your letter and to offer additional accommodations to address the concerns you have raised. In light of these accommodations and the significance of Mr. Snyder, I urge Mr. Snyder to reconsider his decision to refuse to testify publicly and, in doing so, to refuse to accept responsibility for his actions and the culture he fostered within his team.
The team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Maloney noted that the committee extended invitations to Snyder and Goodell in the June 1 letters and asserted that three weeks’ notice was “ample” to reschedule personal disputes and exceeds the committee’s usual practice.
Regarding the trade dispute and plans to leave the country that Seymour cited among the reasons Snyder was unable to attend, Maloney noted that the committee allows Snyder to appear remotely.
Since Goodell chose that option, Maloney wrote, Snyder should be able to both participate in the hearing and “attend an awards ceremony in France.”
Snyder’s refusal to testify, she wrote, would be “inconsistent” with his repeated promises to cooperate with the committee. Moreover, it would “cast doubt on your assertion that commanders are now ‘a role model of how to make extraordinary improvements in workplace culture.’
“Mr. Snyder is no different from any other witness whose testimony is sought by the Committee in connection with a significant investigation,” Maloney wrote. “Any suggestion that the Committee treated Mr. Snyder unfairly is without basis, especially since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell agreed to testify voluntarily at the same hearing.”
The committee did not issue a subpoena to compel Snyder to testify. David Rapallo, the committee’s former personnel director and current associate professor at Georgetown Law School, said earlier this week that the committee would typically make one more attempt to find accommodation before issuing a subpoena.
Snyder, through his attorney, requested several accommodations to determine whether he should attend the hearing. As Maloney summed it up, he appeared to demand the identities of other witnesses who had testified about him or the team; whether those witnesses made any allegations about him or the team; and the substance of those claims. She called the requests “highly unusual and inappropriate requests for access to the committee’s internal investigative documents” and inconsistent with the committee’s past practices.
However, as a “courtesy” and “gesture of good faith,” Maloney said the committee would agree to the request to provide copies of the documents the panel intends to question Snyder about whether he had engaged. in writing, to appear at the hearing.
Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, attorneys representing more than 40 former team employees, this week called on the committee to issue a subpoena to compel Snyder to testify.
The NFL informed the committee on Wednesday that Goodell had accepted its invitation to testify.
Tiffani Johnston, a former cheerleader and marketing manager for the team, told the committee during a congressional roundtable in February that Snyder harassed her at a team dinner, putting his hand on her thigh and urging her towards his limo. Snyder called the accusations leveled directly against him “outright lies.”
The committee’s investigation also uncovered allegations of financial improprieties involving the team and Snyder. The commanders denied committing any financial irregularities.