Owner of the Washington Commanders Dan Snyder refuses invitation to testify at oversight hearing

The congressional oversight committee has been investigating Snyder and his NFL franchise over allegations on workplace environment

Updated: June 15, 2022 - 4:18pm

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Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Commanders, has sent a letter to the House Oversight and Reform Committee saying that he will not testify at the panel's upcoming hearing about allegations of a hostile workplace inside his NFL team.

In a letter first obtained by Axios, Karen Patton Seymour – Snyder's lawyer – wrote that while her client will remain fully cooperative with the panel's investigation of the team, he will not be testifying.

The committee, noted Patton, has refused to provide Snyder with information about some of the allegations being leveled against him by a former member of his staff. 

"Mr. Snyder has no way of knowing what other non-public allegations may have been made against him before this committee," wrote Seymour, a partner at the firm Sullivan and Cromwell.

"It goes against fundamental notions of fairness and due process to decline to provide such basic information that would enable a witness to defend himself or even respond fully during a public hearing, particularly in light of pending investigations addressing similar allegations."

The attorney also points out that the franchise – formerly the Washington Redskins – has made workplace cultural improvements, including greater involvement from team co-owner and Snyder's wife, Tanya Snyder, as well as the hiring of  Jennifer King, the first full-time female coach in National Football League history.

"Mr. Snyder, together with Mrs. Snyder and the Team, remain fully willing to cooperate with the Committee in all other respects, including by continuing to discuss the reasonable requests regarding his potential appearance, and by providing information to the Committee about the remarkable changes undertaken by the Commanders to improve and enhance the experience of all Commanders’ employee," reads the letter.

Committee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney sent a letter to Snyder and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell several weeks ago inviting them to testify before the panel on June 22. 

Last fall, the committee launched an investigation into the team based on allegations of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct following the leak of an email chain that included racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes between former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, and then-Commanders president Bruce Allen. 

The committee also notified the Federal Trade Commission in April that the team and Snyder may have engaged in financially corruption. 

The NFL is currently investigating the team for the second time following an accusation from a former team cheerleader and marketing manager that Snyder sexually harassed her at a work dinner.

Attorneys for the former Commanders employees say they expect the committee to issue a subpoena to Snyder.