Commanders' Dan Snyder Hasn't Refused to Appear for Deposition, Per Spokesperson

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 27, 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 of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform remains committed to hearing testimony from Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder despite Snyder failing to accept the committee's subpoena.

"While the Committee has been, and remains, willing to consider reasonable accommodations requested by witnesses, we will not tolerate attempts to evade service of a duly authorized subpoena or seek special treatment not afforded to other witnesses who testified in this manner," a House Committee spokesperson said.

John Keim @john_keim

Statement from a House Oversight committee spokesperson: <a href="https://t.co/qDtasDlAKH">pic.twitter.com/qDtasDlAKH</a>

A spokesperson for Snyder disputed the characterization, saying he "has not refused to appear for a deposition":

Darren M. Haynes @DarrenMHaynes

UPDATE from Dan Snyder Spokesperson:<br><br>“Mr. Snyder has not refused to appear for a deposition. The Committee offered only one date – June 30 – and Mr. Snyder’s attorney is out of the country and unavailable on that date.”<br><br>Full Story: <a href="https://t.co/WrYodddoMy">https://t.co/WrYodddoMy</a> <a href="https://t.co/X97IAJkHLp">pic.twitter.com/X97IAJkHLp</a>

The Athletic's Ben Standig provided additional context:

"The committee attempted to deliver the subpoena via Snyder's attorney, Karen Patton Seymour, who declined to accept on behalf of her client, according to sources. Seymour is also out of the country on a separate matter, according to a source.

"The committee provided only one date to Snyder for a future deposition and made no attempt at accommodating alternative scenarios, according to a source close to the owner. A committee spokesperson declined to comment on the matter of a single date offered. During the hearing last week, [Committee chairperson Carolyn] Maloney stated a desire for a deposition this week."

In October, the House Committee wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell requesting documents regarding the league's investigation into the Commanders' workplace culture.

The Washington Post published two investigations in 2020 regarding allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse by Commanders employees.

Following an inquiry helmed by Beth Wilkinson, the NFL fined the Commanders $10 million and announced Snyder would be removed from day-to-day duties indefinitely.

However, many expressed concerns surrounding the investigation since the full findings were never made public. Wilkinson instead provided an oral report of the details behind closed doors.

In February, the House Committee alleged the NFL may be prohibited from releasing the findings without the approval of Snyder, an assertion he and the NFL disputed.

In prepared testimony before the committee, Goodell said the NFL had "compelling reasons" why it didn't get a written report from Wilkinson, citing among them an ability to offer confidentiality to employees who came forward.

Regarding the Commanders, Goodell said he found their workplace to be "unprofessional and unacceptable" based on Wilkinson's investigation. In addition to instances of "bullying, widespread disrespect toward colleagues, use of demeaning language, public embarrassment, and harassment," the commissioner said Washington "had a woefully deficient HR function, particularly with respect to reporting practices and recordkeeping."

While Goodell provided remote testimony, Snyder said he would be unable to appear for a June 22 hearing because of a scheduling conflict.

That prompted a subpoena compelling Snyder to testify.