Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has “refused to accept service” of a subpoena by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the committee said Monday.
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), the committee’s chairwoman, announced during Wednesday’s Capitol Hill hearing on the Commanders’ workplace that she would issue the subpoena in an effort to compel Snyder to testify via a deposition this week.
“Mr. Snyder has so far refused to accept service of the Committee’s subpoena,” a committee spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “While the Committee has been, and remains, willing to consider reasonable accommodations requested by witnesses, we will not tolerate attempts to evade service of a duly authorized subpoena or seek special treatment not afforded to other witnesses who testified in this matter.”
A person close to Snyder said his attorney began reaching out to the committee on Friday. The committee had asked his attorney, Karen Patton Seymour, if she could accept service of the subpoena, but she declined because she is out of the country. The sides spoke Monday about matters beyond the subpoena, including additional concerns, but a resolution was not reached on the delivery of the document.
“Mr. Snyder has not refused to appear for a deposition,” a spokesperson for Snyder said in a statement. “The Committee offered only one date — June 30 — and Mr. Snyder’s attorney is out of the country and unavailable on that date. Mr. Snyder’s lawyer has provided alternative dates to the Committee and looks forward to finding a path forward for Mr. Snyder’s further cooperation and to address remaining due process concerns.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testified remotely at last week’s hearing. Snyder declined to testify, even after being urged to reconsider by Maloney. His attorney cited issues of fairness and due process, along with a schedule conflict related to a business commitment for Snyder out of the country.
Maloney rejected the reasons Snyder provided for declining to testify. “Mr. Snyder has not been held accountable,” she said during the hearing. “His refusal to testify sends a clear message that he is more concerned about protecting himself than coming clean with the American people.”
Goodell said during the hearing that he does not “have any responsibility” over Snyder’s decision regarding testifying.
“That is not my choice,” Goodell told the committee, under Maloney’s questioning. “That is his choice.”
The committee concluded in an investigation that Snyder and members of his legal team conducted a “shadow investigation” and compiled a “dossier” targeting former team employees, their attorneys and journalists in an attempt to discredit his accusers and shift blame following allegations of widespread misconduct in the team’s workplace.
Republicans on the committee have expressed their disdain for the Democratic-led investigation of Snyder, the Commanders and the NFL. During a sharp exchange with Maloney during Wednesday’s hearing, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said, “What is the purpose of this hearing?”
Congress could hold Snyder in contempt if he refuses to comply with the subpoena.
Snyder could attempt to run out the clock on the Democrats if he can resist testifying long enough and the Republicans take control of the House — and, therefore, the committee — in January, based on the results of November’s midterm elections.
“Come January, if Republicans take back the House, Oversight Republicans have no intention of continuing an investigation into the Washington Commanders and will return the Committee to its primary mission of rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government,” Austin Hacker, a spokesman for committee Republicans, said in a statement last week.