News & Politics

Dan Snyder Has Lots of Reasons Why He Won’t Appear Before Congress

Photograph by Flickr user Keith Allison.

Dan Snyder won’t appear before a US House of Representatives committee that’s looking into the Washington Commanders’ workplace culture. The committee invited Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to appear on June 22. Axios reported Wednesday that Snyder attorney Karen Patton Seymour sent a letter enumerating the embattled mogul’s reasons why he can’t make it:

The committee won’t tell Snyder what it plans to discuss

Seymour writes that “although the Committee indicated that the hearing would be ‘focused on’ the historical workplace culture issues, I was informed that the Committee would not provide any assurance that the questions directed to Mr. Snyder would be limited to those issues.”

• The committee won’t provide Snyder with more info about a recent accusation

Former employee Tiffani Johnston told the committee in February that Snyder made passes at her during a business event and only backed off when an attorney told him, “Dan, Dan, this is a bad idea … a very bad idea, Dan.” Snyder denied the allegation, and Seymour says the committee hasn’t provided specifics about Johnston’s allegations so Snyder can rebut them. “And of course, Mr. Snyder has no way of knowing what other non-public allegations may have been made against him before this Committee,” she writes.

The date conflicts with a business trip 

Snyder has “longstanding plans to be out of the country on business matters” on June 22, Seymour writes.

• The Commanders are making great strides without Congress

Snyder appointed his wife, Tanya Snyder, as co-CEO, Seymour writes, saying the team has “the most diverse and inclusive executive team and football staff in the NFL.” (Seymour’s letter does not include mention of recent shenanigans involving defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.)

Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, who represent more than 40 former Commanders employees, said in a statement that they “are disappointed but not surprised that Dan Snyder does not have the courage to appear voluntarily. We fully expect the Committee will issue a subpoena to compel Mr. Snyder to appear. It is time that Mr. Snyder learns that he is not above the law.”

Seymour says in her letter that Snyder is “fully willing to cooperate with the Committee in all other respects,” including other requests for him to appear. Snyder’s request for more time could conveniently align with the clock running out on Democrats’ control of Congress–as Politico columnist Michael Schaffer wrote in May, Republicans are among Snyder’s biggest defenders on the Hill.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.

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