The House Oversight and Reform Committee accused Dan Snyder of being “afraid” to testify Monday after the Washington Commanders owner again chose not to accept the panel’s invitation to this week’s scheduled hearing on the team’s workplace misconduct allegations.
Mr. Snyder, in a letter through his lawyer, responded Monday to committee Chair Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, who urged last week in a letter that the embattled billionaire reconsider his decision to not appear before the committee.
In Ms. Maloney’s letter, sent Friday, the New York Democrat gave Snyder the option of appearing remotely and tried to address concerns.
Ms. Maloney had set a 9 a.m. Monday deadline for Mr. Snyder to reply since the scheduled hearing is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday.
In Monday’s letter, obtained by The Washington Times, Mr. Snyder’s lawyer wrote that Ms. Maloney did not “meaningfully respond to my concern that [the hearing] defies the fundamental notions of fairness and due process.”
A spokesperson for the committee fired back.
“If Mr. Snyder was truly committed to cooperating with the Committee’s investigation, he would have accepted the Committee’s invitation to testify about the Commanders’ toxic workplace culture,” the spokesperson said. “As the Chairwoman’s letter made clear, the Committee has been more than accommodating — even allowing Mr. Snyder to testify remotely from France.
“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.”
Mr. Snyder’s lawyer, Karen Patton Seymour, did not outright refuse the committee’s invitation. But she again cited her client’s prior commitment and concerns over the details of the hearing.
Addressing the option for Mr. Snyder to appear remotely, Ms. Seymour said doing so would not provide the owner the ability to confer with counsel in person.
“As I previously informed the Committee, due to my and Mr. Snyder’s scheduling challenges, I could not be with him on June 22 even if his direct conflict did not exist,” Ms. Seymour wrote. “The Committee’s insistence on holding a hearing on a single date that it chose, even at the expense of his right to have his counsel present during testimony, both departs from my understanding of the approach taken with other congressional witnesses in similar circumstances and disregards my client’s due process rights.”
According to Ms. Maloney, Mr. Snyder’s related conflict is a trip to France. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Mr. Snyder’s private plane landed in the country on June 4. An internet tracking service shows his yacht — the $180 million Lady S — is docked at Cannes on the French Riviera.
Ms. Maloney wrote that Mr. Snyder attends to plan an awards ceremony in the country. The Cannes Lions awards are being held this week, an international festival dubbed as the “largest gathering in the creative marketing community.”
The Oversight Committee, which began its probe of the Commanders and the NFL last fall, has not issued a subpoena to Mr. Snyder, so he’s not legally required to attend. Earlier this month, the panel invited Mr. Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to testify. Mr. Goodell has said he will appear remotely.
“As stated in my prior letters, the Snyders and the Team remain fully willing to cooperate with the Committee,” Ms. Seymour wrote, “and are eager to share the cultural transformation undertaken by the Commanders if the Committee is interested in obtaining that information in a manner consistent with appropriate due process and fairness protections.”
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