Sports Commanders owner Daniel Snyder voluntarily testified before Congress but...

Commanders owner Daniel Snyder voluntarily testified before Congress but under oath


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Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder fielded questions from the House Oversight Committee Thursday morning after five weeks of negotiations between the two sides about the terms of such a deposition.

Snyder agreed to testify under oath, but not under the authority of a subpoena, a key distinction that required him to answer the committee’s questions truthfully, but allowed him to choose which questions to answer.

“Mr. Snyder is committed to providing full and complete testimony and to answering committee questions regarding his knowledge and cooperation in the commanders’ toxic work environment, as well as his efforts to interfere with the NFL’s internal investigation. -Disclosure or other confidentiality agreements,” the House Oversight said. A spokesman for the committee said Thursday morning.

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“If Mr. Snyder fails to honor his commitments, the committee is prepared to compel his testimony on any unanswered questions upon his return to the United States.”

A spokeswoman for Snyder confirmed that he would speak to committee staff remotely from Israel, where his attorneys said he was observing the first anniversary of his mother’s death.

In fact, Snyder has been out of the country since refusing to attend a public hearing on Capitol Hill with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last month.

Chairperson of the Committee, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.) said at that hearing that she intends to issue a subpoena to compel his testimony. But committee staff could not serve Snyder with that subpoena while he was out of the country.

Attorneys for the employer declined to accept the subpoena on his behalf, arguing that it was unnecessary because Snyder had agreed to appear voluntarily. They previously requested information about the nature and scope of the questions he would face and cited due process concerns.

“The committee’s justification — that Mr. Snyder would enforce non-disclosure agreements to ‘withhold information from the committee’ — is baseless,” attorney Karen Patton Seymour wrote in a letter to the committee earlier this month.

The back-and-forth lasted more than a month and frustrated some members of the committee, including Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.).

“Some of the discussions between the committee and the witnesses are inaudible,” Connolly told the Washington Post. “But in this particular case, I think he’s displaying an arrogance that has earned him a great reputation.

“And put that in context: It’s a case of trying to avoid and deny responsibility for the toxic, sexist work environment he created. It’s damage limitation and the avoidance of accountability that is the context of these negotiations.”

Thursday’s deposition was not available to the public, but the committee may decide when to release a transcript of his remarks.

Contact Tom Schad at Or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

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