The House chair asks Snyder to testify during the hearing

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The chairman of the House Oversight Committee urged Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder to reconsider his decision not to testify at next week’s hearing and also said his reasons for rejecting their invitation were based on inaccuracies.

Chairman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) sent a six-page letter to Snyder’s attorney, Karen Patton Seymour, saying Snyder could testify virtually at the June 22 hearing, as will NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Maloney gave Snyder a deadline of Monday at. 9 to change her mind after what she ended up with was “additional accommodations.”

In October, Congress began investigating Snyder and Washington’s workplace culture under his ownership, including allegations of sexual misconduct. About four months earlier, the NFL ended its own investigation and fined Washington $ 10 million. However, Congress opened its investigation following complaints of lack of transparency on the part of the NFL about what was being learned. Attorney Beth Wilkinson submitted her report orally, leading to the initial fine.

During a roundtable meeting in February, a former employee allegedly put his hand on her leg under the table at a business dinner and that he was trying to force her into his limousine.

On Wednesday, Seymour sent a five-page letter to the committee, in which he explained why Snyder would not testify.

Seymour said Snyder would be out of the country on a long-planned business trip. She also said Snyder had asked to receive documents in advance.

But Maloney wrote that Seymour’s letter contained a “number of inaccurate allegations and claims, but does not include any valid reason for Mr. Snyder’s refusal to appear.”

Maloney said the committee offered to meet Snyder’s plans to attend an award ceremony in France by allowing him to perform externally.

“Mr. Snyder has not identified any planning challenges that would prevent him from testifying before the committee while he was out of the country,” Maloney wrote.

She said Snyder did not say he could not return before the hearing if he preferred to testify in person. Maloney also said they gave him three weeks notice, which, according to the letter, exceeds their usual time frame.

“Any suggestion that the committee has treated Mr. Snyder unfairly is unfounded, especially given that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has agreed to testify voluntarily at the same hearing,” Maloney said.

She wrote that Snyder’s demands went beyond what the committee has done in the past. For example, she said, their request to know the identity of other witnesses who have testified about the team and / or Snyder – and whether those witnesses have made allegations about the team or Snyder. They also wanted to know the details of these allegations.

Maloney said that if Snyder agreed to testify, they would be willing to provide copies of the team’s documents produced by the NFL, which the committee expects to use during the hearing. She also said they would comply with Snyder’s request to receive copies of documents that committee members intend to use in their interrogation. Maloney said the committee was not required to provide those documents, but would do so if Snyder agreed to testify.

Maloney’s letter stated that Seymour was wrong in saying that any alleged misdemeanor took place “more than a decade in the past.” Maloney pointed to testimony from a former employee who said she was sexually harassed in 2019.

Washington fired several employees after allegations of sexual harassment were exposed by the Washington Post in the summer of 2020. Others, who were also accused of sexual harassment, had already left the organization or resigned that summer.

Maloney also said Snyder could testify despite other ongoing investigations, which was another reason given to Snyder’s reluctance to testify, according to his lawyer’s letter. The NFL opened another investigation into the former employee’s allegations in February. Also, state attorneys in Virginia and Washington, DC, are investigating allegations of economic inadequacy. The team rejected these allegations and set out their case in a 105-page letter with signed statements submitted to the Federal Trade Commission.

“Congress has long investigated cases that are the subject of parallel proceedings,” Maloney wrote.

Finally, Maloney Snyder’s claim that the committee failed to provide further information on the nature and scope of the investigation was rejected. She pointed to several cases where they indicated their purpose. The Republicans in committee have rejected the reasons for the investigation.

Maloney said by failing to testify that Snyder refuses to “accept responsibility for his actions for the culture he has fostered in his team.”

She said Snyder’s refusal to testify was contrary to his repeated commitment to cooperate with the committee. She said it would “cast doubt on your claim that managers are now a model for how to make extraordinary improvements in workplace culture.”

Earlier in the day, Maloney introduced two pieces of legislation based on a congressional inquiry into the commanders. The first bill, called the Accountability for Workplace Misconduct Act, focuses on what she ended the abuse of confidentiality agreements.

The second bill, called the Professional Images Protection Act, stems from allegations that videos were made of Snyder, with footage of Washington’s cheerleaders’ naked body parts while they were at the scene during a photo shoot. According to the bill, it will give employees influence on how and when their images are used for business purposes.

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