Commanders' Snyder won't testify at June inquiry

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Owner Dan Snyder has declined an invitation to testify before the House Oversight Committee, which is investigating workplace culture within the Washington Commanders organization.

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder declines invitation to testify at June 22 congressional hearing 12:49 PM ET John KeimESPN Staff Writer Close Covered the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and other media outlets since 1994 Authored or co-authored three books on the Redskins and one on the Cleveland Browns ASHBURN, Va., -- Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder informed the House Oversight Committee by letter that he won't testify at their June 22 hearing, saying he would be out of the country. It had been long expected that Snyder would decline to testify. In the four-page letter attorney Karen Patton Seymour said Snyder was willing to testify, but that the Committee "is not willing to consider changing the date of the hearing." The letter stated that Snyder had a "longstanding Commanders-related business conflict and is out of the country on the first and only date the Committee has proposed for the hearing." According to a Committee spokesman, "The Committee intends to move forward with this hearing. We are currently reviewing Mr. Snyder's letter and will respond." Editor's Picks NFL hires ex-SEC chair White for Snyder inquiry 116d John Keim Goodell: Snyder didn't hinder WFT investigation 182d John Keim 2 Related Congress started investigating Snyder and Washington's workplace culture under him in October. They're also investigating claims of sexual misconduct by Snyder, a charge levied by former employee Tiffani Johnston in a roundtable session before the Committee. On June 1, The Committee invited Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to testify at the hearing. It's uncertain if Goodell will testify. The Committee could still opt to change the date of the hearing, as sometimes happens in lesser-publicized situations. It could also issue a subpoena to Snyder. Attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent at least 40 former Washington employees, said in a statement that "We, along with our clients, are disappointed but not surprised that Dan Snyder does not have the courage to appear voluntarily. We fully expect the Committee will issue a subpoena to compel Mr. Snyder to appear. It is time that Mr. Snyder learns that he is not above the law." According to the letter, Snyder's attorneys responded five days later by asking the Committee to provide more information about the scope of the inquiry. It also stated that the Committee would not guarantee that the questions directed to Snyder would be limited to the organization's historical workplace issues. Nor would the Committee agree to provide copies of documents that "members of the Committee intend to question Mr. Snyder about." Seymour wrote that it's a courtesy "I understand is often extended to witnesses at congressional hearings." The letter also said Snyder's attorneys requested "basic information" about Johnston's allegations - "such as when and where it supposedly occurred, and who else was present." According to the letter the Committee declined to provide the information. Snyder has denied the charges. The NFL also hired attorney Mary Jo White to investigate Johnston's claims. The league fined Washington $10 million on July 1, 2021 for the toxic workplace culture built under Snyder. The attorney generals in Virginia and Washington, D.C., are investigating claims of financial improprieties alleged by a former employee. The team responded with a 105-page letter with signed affidavits refuting the charges.