Lawyer: House panel has ‘no legitimate need’ to subpoena Commanders owner

Associated Press/Patrick Semansky

The legal counsel for Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder said in a letter that the House Oversight and Reform Committee has “no legitimate need” to issue a subpoena toward her client in order for him to testify on the allegation of workplace misconduct and sexual harassment against his team. 

In a letter sent to committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday, Snyder’s attorney Karen Patton Seymour wrote that her client is willing to testify before the House panel voluntarily, adding that there’s “no legitimate need” for a subpoena. 

Maloney announced during a congressional hearing last month that she will issue a subpoena for Snyder to testify before the committee over the allegations that have been levied against his NFL franchise. Snyder initially declined the committee’s invitation to appear at the hearing, citing business conflicts. 

“Your July 12 letter states that the Committee intends to issue a subpoena to compel Mr. Snyder’s appearance, despite his repeated offer to appear voluntarily. There is no legitimate need for a subpoena to Mr. Snyder,” Seymour wrote in the letter. “The Committee’s proffered justification — that Mr. Snyder would otherwise invoke non-disclosure agreements to withhold information from the Committee — is baseless.” 

Seymour also wrote in the letter that the accusations that her client has refused to cooperate before the committee are false, saying that Snyder has offered multiple dates to give his testimony to the Hosue panel and noted a recent letter from the family’s Rabbi about the importance of Snyder attending his mother’s first yahrzeit, which is a Jewish tradition of commemorating the anniversary of a loved one’s death. 

Seymour noted that the committee has wrongly accused Snyder of invoking nondisclosure agreements to “cover up” misconduct and prevent witnesses from sharing information for its investigation into the team. 

“Under the circumstances, there is no valid basis to issue a subpoena for Mr. Snyder’s testimony. We intend that he will testify voluntarily on July 28, as he has long agreed and looks forward to the opportunity to do,” Seymour concluded in her letter. 

The letter comes a day after the committee accepted Snyder’s request to testify virtually on July 28, with Maloney writing in the letter that the committee “will proceed with a subpoena in place to ensure that Mr. Snyder’s testimony will be full and complete and will not be restricted in the way it would be if the deposition were conducted voluntarily.” 

The committee’s investigation into the Commanders first launched last October following the resignation of former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, whose email chain with then-Commanders team president Bruce Allen, which contained racist, homophobic and misogynistic language and was part of the NFL’s initial investigation into the team, was leaked to the public. 

The NFL launched its second investigation into the team earlier this year as well.

In a statement to The Hill, a spokesperson for Snyder said that the committee “refuses to take ‘yes’ for an answer.”

Tags Carolyn B. Maloney Carolyn Maloney Dan Snyder Dan Snyder Dan Snyder House Oversight and Reform Committee House Oversight Committee NFL Washington Commanders Washington Commanders Washington Commanders Workplace misconduct
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