Commanders' Daniel Snyder Urged to Reconsider Choice Not to Appear at Hearing

Erin WalshJune 17, 2022

LANDOVER, MD - FEBRUARY 2:  Co-owner Dan Snyder gives remarks as the Washington Football Team announces their new team name the Commanders at a morning event  at FedEx Field on February 2, 2022 in Landover, MD . (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform is urging Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder to reconsider his decision to not testify or appear at its hearing June 22.

"Mr. Snyder’s refusal to testify at the June 22 hearing would be inconsistent with his repeated commitments to cooperate with the Committee and cast doubt on your assertion that the Commanders are now 'a model of how to make extraordinary improvements in workplace culture,'" Oversight Committee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney said in a letter to Snyder's attorney, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post.

Both Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell were asked to appear at the hearing to answer questions about the Commanders' toxic workplace environment and the league's investigation of the matter.

Snyder has until Monday at 9 a.m. ET to inform the committee if he intends to attend the hearing, according to Jhabvala. The committee intends to move forward with the hearing on its scheduled date with or without him.

Snyder's attorney, Karen Patton Seymour, wrote to the committee earlier this month stating the Washington owner would be traveling out of the country because he had "a longstanding Commanders-related business conflict" to attend to and wouldn't be available to appear June 22 but that he "remains willing to cooperate with the committee" during its investigation of the franchise.

However, the letter from the committee states that it "has offered to accommodate Mr. Snyder’s plans to attend an awards ceremony in France by permitting him to appear remotely":

"Mr. Snyder has not identified any scheduling challenges that would prevent him from testifying before the Committee while out of the country. Nor has Mr. Snyder asserted that he is unable to return to the United States prior to the hearing, should he prefer to testify in person.
"Mr. Snyder is no different than any other witness whose testimony the Committee seeks as part of an important investigation. Any suggestion that the Committee has treated Mr. Snyder unfairly is unfounded, especially given that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has agreed to testify voluntarily at the same hearing."

The committee's latest letter to Snyder comes after the attorneys for more than 40 former Commanders employees alleging harassment and sexual misconduct called for the committee to "issue a subpoena to compel Mr. Snyder to appear" because "he is not above the law."

The Oversight Committee has been investigating Snyder, the Commanders toxic workplace culture, and the league's handling of the matter, since October. It is also investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against Snyder.

The NFL fined the Commanders $10 million after conducting its own investigation into the team's workplace environment. Snyder's wife, Tanya Snyder, then took over the franchise's day-to-day operations.

In addition to the toxic workplace and sexual misconduct allegations, the Commanders are being investigated by the Virginia attorney general's office for financial improprieties. The franchise allegedly withheld security deposits from season-ticket holders and had two accounting books to avoid sending money to the NFL's revenue-sharing pool.

Amid all of this, the team reportedly purchased around 200 acres of land in Virginia for more than $100 million to be used as a potential site for a new stadium. They plan to build a 60,000-seat stadium on the land in addition to retail shops, restaurants, bars and the team's practice facility.

The Commanders are slated to begin the 2022 season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 11 at FedEx Field.