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House Oversight Committee: Daniel Snyder trying to ‘evade’ subpoena

Jan 2, 2020; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera looks on as owner Daniel Snyder speaks during his introductory press conference at Inova Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform so far has been unable to serve Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder with a subpoena to testify on Capitol Hill, a spokesperson said Monday.

The committee is investigating allegations about the Commanders’ workplace culture. Media reports have detailed allegations of sexual misconduct from 15 female ex-employees, including multiple accusations of sexual harassment against Snyder in particular. While those women have spoken out publicly, at least 50 ex-employees reportedly have complained about the workplace culture.

“Mr. Snyder has so far refused to accept service of the Committee’s subpoena,” the spokesperson’s statement said. “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. The Committee will not be deterred from obtaining Mr. Snyder’s testimony, and we remain committed to ensuring transparency about the toxic workplace culture at the Washington Commanders and the NFL’s inadequate response.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testified before the committee on the matter last week. Snyder declined an invitation to testify, citing business that required overseas travel. Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) responded by saying she would subpoena Snyder to appear.

The Athletic reported that Snyder’s attorney declined to accept a subpoena on Snyder’s behalf Friday.

After a 2020 Washington Post report initially revealed many of the allegations, the NFL launched its own investigation led by attorney Beth Wilkinson. The league fined the Commanders $10 million in 2021 and had Snyder step away from day-to-day operations, but Wilkinson’s findings were not released publicly, prompting the House committee to request that commissioner Roger Goodell release everything related to the investigation.

Last week, the committee released a 29-page memo based on its own eight-month investigation, which found that Snyder conducted his own “shadow investigation” into workplace allegations in an attempt to discredit the accusers.

Snyder is at the center of multiple investigations. In addition to the House committee inquiry, the Virginia attorney general said in April that he was launching an investigation into allegations regarding the team’s business practices.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform obtained evidence that Snyder had team executives illegally withhold refundable security deposits from ticket holders and kept two sets of books to hide revenue from the NFL in order to contribute less to the revenue-sharing pool.

Goodell told the committee last week that he has no authority to remove Snyder as owner of the Commanders. An owner can only be removed by a three-quarters majority vote (24 of 32) of fellow owners, although Goodell does have the authority to recommend a vote.

In May 1999, NFL owners unanimously approved the sale of the Washington franchise and the old Jack Kent Cooke Stadium to a group headed by Snyder, who then was 34. The group paid $800 million, which at the time was a record purchase price for a U.S. sports franchise.

–Field Level Media