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Committee accepts Daniel Snyder’s date for testimony but rejects terms

Commanders owner Daniel Snyder declined to appear at a June 22 hearing on Capitol Hill. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)
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If Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder agrees to provide “full and complete” testimony, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform will accept his offer to appear remotely July 28 as part of its investigation of the NFL team’s workplace, the chairwoman wrote to Snyder’s attorney Tuesday.

The date was one of two offered last week by Karen Patton Seymour, an attorney for Snyder, but significant disagreement remains over the terms of his appearance.

Seymour has stated Snyder would appear only if his concerns about “due process” could be resolved. To that end, she has offered that Snyder could appear “voluntarily,” which means he would not be placed under oath and could decline to answer certain questions. Seymour also informed the committee staff that Snyder would not address questions on matters covered by nondisclosure agreements. Many former Commanders employees who have come forward with stories of sexual harassment or mistreatment were required to sign NDAs to receive severance pay.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) made clear in Tuesday’s letter such conditions are unacceptable and the committee intends to proceed with a subpoena “to ensure that Mr. Snyder’s testimony will be full and complete and will not be restricted in the way it would be if the deposition were conducted voluntarily.”

Under a subpoena, Snyder would be placed under oath, could not choose which questions he would answer and could not cite NDAs as a reason for refusing to answer questions. Such questioning would be done by House lawyers and would be conducted in a private setting.

A spokesperson for Snyder said late Tuesday, “Mr. Snyder’s attorneys are reviewing the Committee’s letter to determine if their due process concerns, including the circumstances of Mr. Snyder’s appearance, have adequately been addressed.”

Daniel Snyder was not ‘hands off’ as an NFL owner, witnesses told committee

In Tuesday’s letter, Maloney wrote: “You have made clear to Committee staff that a voluntary appearance would exclude matters covered by nondisclosure agreements (NDA). Mr. Snyder has a troubling history of using NDAs to cover up workplace misconduct — behavior that is central to our investigation — and it would be highly inappropriate for him to employ the same tactic to withhold information from the Committee. Other former Commanders employees have participated in Committee depositions under subpoena, and Mr. Snyder should not be treated any differently.”

Snyder declined the committee’s invitation to testify at its June 22 public hearing on Capitol Hill about the team’s workplace, citing a schedule conflict and concerns about the proceeding’s fairness and “due process.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell accepted the panel’s invitation and testified remotely that day. In response to Snyder’s snub, Maloney said she would issue a subpoena to compel Snyder’s testimony via a deposition the following week. To date, Snyder and his attorney have refused to be served with the subpoena. Seymour has said Snyder remains out of the country.

In closing Tuesday’s three-page letter, Maloney noted the committee had postponed Snyder’s deposition nearly one month to accommodate his schedule and would extend such additional accommodations as allowing him to testify remotely, giving him access to exhibits and transcribed interviews of other witnesses and providing him with a description of the types of information redacted in prior transcripts.

Maloney set a deadline of noon Wednesday for Snyder’s lawyer to confirm that she will accept service of the committee’s subpoena and that Snyder will appear for a recorded Zoom deposition July 28.