WASHINGTON — Editor's Note: The video above originally aired Saturday before the new letter from Snyder's counsel was sent.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform will begin a hearing Wednesday to examine the Washington Commanders' alleged "hostile workplace culture" spanning two decades and the NFL's handling of the allegations. But one key witness will be notably absent: Commanders owner Dan Snyder.
Snyder had previously declined to attend the hearing, citing scheduling conflicts. However, committee leaders said Friday they found no valid reason for Snyder's decision and asked him to reconsider. Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney set a response deadline of 9 a.m. Monday.
Snyder's legal team replied in a letter obtained by WUSA9 that the owner's "longstanding business conflict" (he is in France) would not be able to be rescheduled, and thus he would not be in attendance Wednesday. Snyder's attorney, Karen Patton Seymour, also said she had advised Snyder not to testify remotely, as she would not be able to be with him during the testimony.
"The Committee’s insistence on holding a hearing on a single date that it chose, even at the expense of [Snyder's] right to have his counsel present during testimony, both departs from my understanding of the approach taken with other congressional witnesses in similar circumstances and disregards my client’s due process rights," Seymour wrote.
Seymour again reiterated that Snyder wants to cooperate with the investigation, but says concerns she has repeatedly asked to be addressed regarding the scope of the committee's investigation were ignored.
"The Snyders and the Team remain fully willing to cooperate with the Committee, and are eager to share the cultural transformation undertaken by the Commanders if the Committee is interested in obtaining that information in a manner consistent with appropriate due process and fairness protections," Seymour wrote.
Maloney responded that if Snyder wants to cooperate, he should testify.
"If Mr. Snyder was truly committed to cooperating with the Committee's investigation, he would have accepted the Committee's invitation to testify about the Commanders' toxic workplace culture," she wrote. "As the Chairwoman's letter made clear, the Committee has been more than accommodating—even allowing Mr. Snyder to testify remotely from France. His refusal to testify sends an unmistakable signal that Mr. Snyder has something to hide and is afraid of coming clean to the American public and addressing major worker protection concerns facing the NFL."
The chairwoman made it clear the committee would move forward with the hearing, with or without Snyder. A subpoena for Snyder to appear at a later date remains an option.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was also invited to testify at the hearing and has confirmed that he will appear virtually. But before the hearing begins, six representatives -- Don Beyer (D-VA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Anthony Brown (D-MD) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) -- are calling on Goodell to release the results of a 10-month investigation into the Washington Commanders and their workplace environment of the league's 10-month investigation into the team, which led to a $10M fine against the team.
"Our constituents deserve to know the findings of the ... investigation, so that the Washington Commanders, including Mr. Snyder, can be properly held to account for the horrific behavior that occurred," the letter says. "We encourage the NFL and the Washington Commanders to do the right thing ahead of the June hearing and release the report."
After workplace misconduct and harassment allegations were levied against owner Dan Snyder and some of his front office staff in 2020, attorney Beth Wilkinson was retained to conduct a third-party, independent investigation. However, Goodell 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.
"There is an opportunity for the NFL and the Commanders to lead by example, not by attempting to silence victims, but by ensuring this type of rampant abuse is not tolerated going forward," the letter says.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Il), said the committee has been "stonewalled by NDAs" since they got involved, and is calling on Snyder and Goodell "to appear before the Committee to address these issues and answer our questions about the pervasive workplace misconduct at the Washington Commanders, and how the NFL addressed these issues."