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Commanders' Daniel Snyder to Testify Voluntarily for Congress amid Workplace Probe

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 28, 2022

John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder will testify for Congress' House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Thursday, but his appearance won't be under oath.

ESPN's John Keim reported committee chairwoman Carolyn Maloney agreed to allow Snyder to testify voluntarily over Zoom about allegations related to the NFL franchise's workplace culture after he'd turned down previous requests to speak under oath.

A statement from the committee said the Commanders owner has "committed to providing full and complete testimony, and to answer the committee's questions about his knowledge of and contributions to the Commanders' toxic work environment, as well as his efforts to interfere with the NFL's internal investigation, without hiding behind non-disclosure or other confidentiality agreements."

In June, Maloney announced she planned to subpoena Snyder for a deposition because of his "continued and unfounded refusal to provide voluntary testimony."

"Mr. Snyder's refusal to testify sends a clear signal that he is more concerned about protecting himself than coming clean to the American public. If the NFL is unwilling to hold Mr. Snyder accountable, then I am prepared to do so," Maloney said at the time. "The Committee will not be deterred in its investigation to uncover the truth of workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders."

The subpoena wasn't served because the Commanders owner has remained out of the country, telling the committee his family is in Israel commemorating the one-year anniversary of his mother's death, but the committee noted it remains "prepared to compel his testimony on any unanswered questions upon his return to the United States," according to Keim.

Snyder's testimony will occur in private, but the committee has the option to release all or a portion of the transcript, per Keim.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testified before the Oversight and Reform Committee in June, saying the conduct unearthed within the Washington organization during an independent investigation ordered by the league was "not acceptable."

"I have not seen a workplace in the NFL that is anywhere near what we saw in the context of that period of time for the Washington Commanders," Goodell said.

The commissioner stopped short of saying he'd recommend forcing Snyder to sell the franchise, though.

In July 2021, the NFL announced a $10 million fine for the Commanders based on "highly unprofessional" actions within the workplace "both generally and particularly for women" that included bullying, intimidation and multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

The committee's probe expanded in April when former team employee Jason Friedman alleged the organization falsified financial records in order to convert money ticketed for the NFL's revenue-sharing system into non-shareable revenue, per Keim.

Washington denied the claims, calling them "false and reckless."

Snyder, a 57-year-old Maryland native, became the majority owner of the Commanders in 1999 and bought out his business partners in April 2021 to make his family the sole owner of the franchise.

The team has qualified for the playoffs just six times in 23 seasons under Snyder's guidance, and it's never advanced beyond the divisional round of the postseason during his ownership.

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