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Commanders owner Dan Snyder 'unavailable' on deposition date provided by Oversight Committee

Oversight Committee "will not tolerate attempts to evade service of a duly authorized subpoena" spokesperson says.

WASHINGTON — The House Committee on Oversight and Reform announced its intent to subpoena Commanders owner Dan Snyder for a committee deposition. Snyder, however, does not plan to attend.

"Dan and his lawyer are unavailable on the date provided by the committee for the deposition. For that reason and because many of the due process concerns have yet to be addressed, Dan's lawyer could not accept service," a source close to Snyder said. 

The committee's goal was to meet with Snyder this week.

RELATED: Goodell testifies to 'unprofessional, toxic' Commanders workplace; Snyder to be subpoenaed

The committee is investigating the Washington Commanders' alleged "hostile workplace culture, spanning two decades, and the NFL's handling of the allegations.

"Dan's lawyers were in touch with the committee on Friday and throughout the weekend trying to set up a call to discuss a path forward for additional cooperation and to address the remaining due process concerns," the source said. 

David Rapallo is Director of the Federal Legislation Clinic at Georgetown Law and a former staff director for the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. He told WUSA9 that Snyder's claims of desired cooperation appeared more like obstruction. Rapallo described an attorney being willing to accept service of a subpoena through email as "standard practice" compared to the alternative of a client being personally presented a subpoena by the U.S. Marshals Service. 

Rapallo said most attorneys will accept a subpoena and then work out details of a deposition that would include date, time and potential parameters.

"(The Committee) 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 committee spokesperson said in a statement to WUSA9 this afternoon. "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.”

Dan Snyder's attorney reported to committee leaders last week he would be unable to attend last Wednesday's hearing due to a Commanders-related event out of the country. 

Rapallo says it's unclear what options the committee may have if Snyder does not return to the U.S. for an extended period of time, calling it an "extremely rare situation." 

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing last week to examine the Washington Commanders' alleged "hostile workplace culture." Hours before the hearing began, the committee shared a new memo detailing Snyder's purported role in creating that environment and his apparent efforts to discredit victims and witnesses by launching a “shadow investigation” to influence the NFL's internal investigation into workplace misconduct allegations.  

RELATED: Commanders investigation memo: Dan Snyder conducted 'shadow investigation' targeting journalists, whistleblowers

"For more than two decades, Dan Snyder refused to protect the women who worked for him from the toxic culture he created," Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said in her opening statement of the hearing last week. "The NFL has also failed to protect these women. Now I believe it is up to Congress to protect them, and millions more like them."

During the hearing, legislators heard testimony from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calling the team culture toxic and unprofessional, documenting instances of "bullying, widespread disrespect toward colleagues, use of demeaning language, public embarrassment and harassment." Goodell also alleged that Snyder had hidden from the league a 2009 settlement with a former team employee who accused him of sexual assault. 

"No one should experience workplaces like the one described, especially not in the National Football League," Goodell said in his opening statement. “The Commanders had a woefully deficient HR function, particularly with respect to reporting practices and recordkeeping." 

However, Goodell has made it clear the NFL would not issue a report on the investigation because of its promise to protect the identities of those who testified.  

"I have a lot of constituents who are victims of this culture and they have all asked for the Wilkinson report to be released," Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said, urging Goodell to reconsider. 

Goodell proceeded to be grilled for two hours by Democratic lawmakers over the NFL's handling of its investigation into Snyder and the team. The House Oversight Committee launched its investigation in October 2021, following the NFL's refusal to release the findings of an internal investigation, led by D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson, into workplace misconduct and harassment allegations levied against Snyder and some of his front office staff in 2020. The committee said it has reviewed thousands of documents, conducted interviews and depositions with former Commanders employees and held a roundtable discussion with accusers and witnesses over the last eight months.

But a key voice has continued to be missing from the conversation. A placard bearing Dan Snyder's name placed in front of an empty chair of a microphone further highlighted Snyder's absence. The owner repeatedly declined to attend the hearing, citing scheduling conflicts. The only representation of Snyder's opinions came in the form of a statement from his spokesperson. 

"It is clear the outcome of the House Oversight Committee's investigation into the Washington Commanders was predetermined from the beginning," a spokesperson for Dan Snyder said of the hearing. "The committee's decision to release a 'report' and introduce legislation prior to the hearing is proof-positive this was always going to be little more than a politically-charged show trial, not about uncovering the truth. Hopefully, the committee will use its resources going forward for more pressing national matters, instead of an issue a football team addressed years ago."

Instead, Maloney announced her intent to subpoena Snyder for a committee deposition.

"Mr. Snyder's refusal to testify sends a clear signal that he is more concerned about protecting himself than coming clean to the American public," Maloney said. "If the NFL is unwilling to hold Mr. Snyder accountable, then I am prepared to do so."

Ultimately, Goodell said he felt the Commanders’ culture issues had been dealt with by the NFL and handled appropriately. He said the league had done its job conducting an independent investigation and issuing fines against the team and its leaders. 

Several Republican members of the committee jumped on that line, questioning the hearing's purpose. 

"I’m not going to use my time as a member of Congress to get into this when [Goodell] says Snyder has been held accountable," Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said. 

Donalds went as far as to call it a "show hearing" pointing to the empty spot set for Snyder, despite the committee knowing he wouldn't be in attendance.

RELATED: Dan Snyder again declines to testify before Congress on workplace misconduct allegations

Moments after the hearing, Tanya and Dan Snyder, along with team president Jason Wright sent out a letter to members of their organization, obtained by WUSA9, about the progress the franchise has made since 2020.

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