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House committee files notice of Daniel Snyder deposition despite impasse

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder declined to appear at a June 22 hearing on Capitol Hill. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform took the next step Monday in preparing to potentially hear testimony from Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder this week, but it remains unclear whether a compromise will be reached to resolve the disagreement over the terms of such an interview.

After six weeks of negotiations, lawyers for the committee and Snyder agreed on July 28 as the day Snyder will be interviewed about the preliminary findings of its nine-month investigation of allegations of widespread sexual harassment in the NFL team’s workplace.

As a procedural matter, the committee is required to post notice of a deposition three days in advance. Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) took that step late Monday, filing with the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives a Deposition Notice of Daniel M. Snyder for 8 a.m. Thursday, via Zoom.

As of late Monday, a standoff continued over the terms of that interview after Snyder’s lawyer, Karen Patton Seymour, refused to be served with the subpoena issued by Maloney to compel Snyder to provide a deposition under oath.

In snubbing House panel, Daniel Snyder may have increased his legal peril

In a July 13 letter to Maloney, Seymour argued the committee had “no valid basis” for issuing a subpoena and offered Snyder’s voluntary testimony instead.

There is a significant difference between congressional testimony offered voluntarily and that offered under a sworn deposition. If Snyder’s testimony is voluntary, he could choose which questions he would answer. Under a subpoena, he would be placed under oath and not have that latitude unless he cited a constitutionally protected privilege for each specific question.

Seymour repeatedly has cited concerns about fairness and due process, along with scheduling conflicts, as reasons for Snyder’s unwillingness to appear before the committee without numerous accommodations. Snyder declined an invitation to face questions voluntarily during the committee’s June 22 public hearing on Capitol Hill. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testified remotely, and under oath, at that hearing.

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