Commanders' Snyder won't testify before US House committee

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FILE - Dan Snyder, co-owner and co-CEO of the Washington Commanders, poses for photos during an event to unveil the NFL football team's new identity, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Landover, Md. A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press the Washington Commanders have bought land in Virginia for what could be a potential site of the NFL team’s next stadium. The 200 acres of land purchased for approximately $100 million is in Woodbridge roughly 25 miles outside the District of Columbia. The Commanders’ lease at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, expires in 2027. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A lawyer representing Dan Snyder told Congress the Washington Commanders owner will not testify at a hearing next week as part of an investigation into the team’s workplace conduct.

Attorney Karen Patton Seymour sent a letter to the leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday explaining the reasons why Snyder was declining the invitation to appear at the June 22 hearing. Among the reasons given were a lack of assurance about the scope of questioning given the existence of multiple ongoing investigations and a scheduling conflict preventing Snyder from appearing in person.

Seymour wrote Snyder “is unable to accept the Committee’s invitation to testify” at the hearing, which the committee called the next step in the investigation and said it will examine how the NFL handles allegations of workplace misconduct and how it sets and enforces standards for all teams.

“Mr. Snyder remains fully willing to assist the committee in its investigation,” Seymour wrote in the letter addressed to Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.).

A spokeswoman for the committee said it intends to move forward with the hearing as scheduled and plans to respond to the letter from Snyder's camp.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has accepted the invitation to testify and informed the committee on Wednesday that he will appear virtually, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

Semyour said the committee failed to assuage concerns about what topics would be broached to Snyder, citing the investigations being done by former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White on behalf of the NFL and the attorneys general of Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“Although the committee indicated that the hearing would be ‘focused on’ the historical workplace culture issues, I was informed that the committee would not provide any assurance that the questions directed to Mr. Snyder would be limited to those issues, given the wide latitude granted to members to ask questions beyond the topics identified by the committee,” she wrote.

Congress launched an investigation into the team's workplace culture after an independent review overseen by the league prompted a $10 million fine, but did not include a written report to be released to the public.

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