The U.S. House of Representative's Oversight Committee, one of Congress' top investigative arms, recently requested that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Commanders owner Daniel Snyder testify at a hearing Wednesday regarding workplace misconduct inside the Washington franchise. One of them has officially declined the invitation, with Axios reporting last week that Snyder will not attend the hearing over concerns he and his lawyers have over "due process."
The Washington Post then reported that Goodell has accepted the invitation to testify, although he will appear remotely.
On Friday, the committee's chairwoman, Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), wrote a letter trying to get Snyder to reconsider his decision not to testify at the hearing. Snyder's attorney, Karen Patton Seymour, responded with a letter Monday reiterating his decision not to testify -- which promoted the following statement from a House Oversight Committee spokesperson (per The Post).
"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."
Seymour wrote to the committee last week that her client will be traveling out of the country as part of "a longstanding Commanders-related business conflict" on Wednesday, but that Snyder "remains willing to cooperate with the Committee" during its investigation of Washington. The committee declined a previous request by Snyder's legal team to delay the hearing over additional concerns about the "questions (that would be) directed to Mr. Snyder."
The Commanders also offered to send another "knowledgeable witness" to testify Wednesday, per The Post, citing this person's day-to-day responsibilities with the team as proof they would be "in a far better position to answer questions about the workplace culture." But the committee declined. A spokesperson for the committee told CBS Sports later Wednesday that the hearing is scheduled to proceed as planned with or without Snyder, and that the committee will respond to his letter excusing himself from participation. A source close to the situation also expressed uncertainty over Goodell's plans regarding the hearing.
Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, the attorneys representing more than 40 former Commanders employees alleging a longtime pattern of harassment and sexual misconduct inside the organization, have since called for the Oversight Committee to "issue a subpoena to compel Mr. Snyder to appear," per the Post, in order to teach the billionaire that "he is not above the law."
The Oversight Committee has been investigating Washington, and the NFL's own handling of the situation, for months. The NFL previously announced it has "cooperated extensively" by "producing more than 460,000 pages of documents" to the committee regarding its Washington investigation. Six former employees of the Commanders, meanwhile, joined leaders of the Oversight Committee for a February roundtable discussion about alleged misconduct. The roundtable unveiled both new allegations ---- and a renewed commitment to "potential legislative solutions" focused on holding the NFL and Washington's "perpetrators of sexual harassment" accountable.