Commanders owner Dan Snyder, House committee at odds
WASHINGTON (AP) — Dan Snyder’s attorney told the Committee on Oversight and Reform the Washington Commanders’ owner is willing to testify by video conference regarding the investigation into the team’s workplace culture following accusations of pervasive sexual harassment by club executives of women employees.
In a letter sent to the committee and obtained by The Associated Press, attorney Karen Patton Seymour said Snyder is traveling outside the country and available for video testimony July 28 and 29.
Seymour expressed concern because the committee countered with dates that conflict with her travel schedule and Snyder’s.
“Although I explained that the Snyder family’s commitments were spread out over various dates in July and reiterated that July 28 or 29 were the earliest possible dates on which Mr. Snyder could appear, the Committee’s staff declined even to acknowledge the proposed dates, stating only that the Committee would have to ‘determine how to proceed,’” the letter states.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testified remotely from New York at the committee’s hearing last month.
Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” that sought to discredit former employees making accusations of workplace sexual harassment, hired private investigators to intimidate witnesses, and used an overseas lawsuit as a pretext to obtain phone records and emails, according to a document released by the committee before that hearing.
The 29-page memo alleges Snyder tried to discredit the people accusing him and other team executives of misconduct and also tried to influence an investigation of the team conducted for the NFL by attorney Beth Wilkinson’s firm.
Snyder’s attorneys presented the NFL with a 100-slide PowerPoint presentation including “private text messages, emails, phone logs and call transcripts, and social media posts from nearly 50 individuals who Mr. Snyder apparently believed were involved in a conspiracy to disparage him,” the committee said.
In a statement, a spokesman for Snyder characterized the report and the hearing as “a politically charged show trial” and said Congress should not be investigating “an issue a football team addressed years ago.”
The NFL fined the team $10 million last year and Snyder stepped away from its day-to-day operations after Wilkinson presented her findings to Goodell.
However, the league did not release a written report of Wilkinson’s findings, a decision Goodell said was intended to protect the privacy of former employees who spoke to investigators.
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