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Washington Commanders owner used his yacht and a very loyal attorney to avoid House Committee subpoena

Jason Burgos

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has used the advantages of absurd wealth and a ride-or-die attorney to avoid being served with a subpoena from the House Oversight & Reform Committee.

The Committee has been investigating the Commanders organization for much of this year due to allegations of “toxic” misconduct by many within the organization, including Snyder, during his time as the owner of the franchise.

The inquiry originally began after the NFL did not do enough to force the organization to change its workplace culture after its own investigation into the claims of sexual misconduct. However, the Committee’s examination of the organization also found “financial improprieties” by the Commanders that led to an expansion of the examination.

Related: House Committee set to hear testimony from Commanders owner on July 28

Based on their findings, the Committee has made it a priority to speak with Daniel Snyder about the troubling things that they have learned. However, the Washington Commanders boss has looked to “evade” speaking under oath. First, by ignoring official requests, then most recently by outright finding ways to not be served with a subpoena.

How the Washington Commanders owner has successfully avoided a subpoena

washington commanders
Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

For the uninitiated, a subpoena is a summons from a government body for a person to give testimony or produce evidence under a penalty. These summonses must be served to an individual in person or can be received on their behalf by a lawyer. Well, Snyder has avoided that Committee summons for weeks.

But how has he been able to avoid being served? Well, firstly he decided now was the perfect time to traverse the Meditteranean by way of his yacht, and he plans to keep living on the high seas all the way through August. It’s why he recently offered to give testimony, but on a Zoom video call.

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal explained why the “trip” was a brilliant move to avoid an in-person conversation with congress.

“Subpoenas have to be served directly to their subject, in person, unless a lawyer has agreed to accept one on their client’s behalf — which Snyder’s lawyer has declined to do. And it’s near if not entirely impossible to serve Congressional subpoenas overseas, even when somebody is on dry land.”

Wall Street Journal on Snyder’s evading Committee subpoena

However, as mentioned before, subpoenas can be accepted on someone’s behalf, and electronically. But Snyder picked his attorney well because his lawyer, Karen Patton Seymour, has also declined to receive the subpoena for her client. Which Georgetown law professor Dave Rapallo told the Wall Street Journal is highly irregular.

“The norm in D.C. is for attorneys to accept service electronically. It’s very rare for an attorney not to accept service of a subpoena over email. I worked on Capitol Hill for more than 20 years and I have never seen anyone intentionally evade a subpoena from Congress in this way.”

Dave Rapallo on Snyder’s lawyer avoiding subpoena

The Washington Commanders owner is expected to give testimony via video conference on July 28 after Committee chairwoman Carolyn Maloney originally turned down the offer for a conversation on his terms yesterday week.