Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder has not yet accepted a subpoena issued by the U.S. House Oversight Committee investigating allegations he fostered a toxic work culture in his organization, a spokesman for the committee said in a statement on Monday.
The committee attempted to send the subpoena to Snyder’s attorney via email on Friday, but Karen Seymour, one of Snyder’s lawyers, declined to accept it, according to two sources familiar with the ongoing negotiation between the committee and Snyder’s attorneys.
Last week, the chair of the committee, Carolyn Maloney (D-New York), announced she would issue the subpoena for Snyder to be deposed by Congressional investigators after his attorney repeatedly declined the committee’s invitation to testify with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who appeared at a hearing last week.
“The Committee will not be deterred from obtaining Mr. Snyder’s testimony, and we remain committed to ensuring transparency about the toxic workplace culture at the Washington Commanders and the NFL’s inadequate response,” the committee spokesperson said in the statement on Monday.
A spokesperson for Snyder told ESPN on Monday, “Mr. Snyder has not refused to appear for a deposition. The Committee offered only one date — June 30 — and Mr. Snyder’s attorney is out of the country and unavailable on that date. Mr. Snyder’s lawyer has provided alternative dates to the Committee and looks forward to finding a path forward for Mr. Snyder’s further cooperation and to address remaining due process concerns.”
In the statement, the committee spokesperson said that “while the Committee has been, and remains, willing to consider reasonable accommodations requested by witnesses, we will not tolerate attempts to evade service of a duly authorized subpoena or seek special treatment not afforded to other witnesses who testified in this matter.”
In the “vast majority” of cases, congressional subpoenas are served to and accepted by a subject’s lawyer electronically, according to Dave Rapallo, Georgetown University’s Federal Legislation Clinic director and the Democratic staff director of the House Oversight Committee from 2011 to 2021. He told ESPN the committee also can have U.S. Marshals serve a subpoena in person at locations such as a subject’s home or place of work.
“It’s not totally unprecedented but it’s rare because it’s usually unnecessary,” Rapallo said of needing marshals to serve a subpoena in person. “Most lawyers accept the subpoena electronically.”
Rapallo said Snyder can comply with the subpoena and be deposed by the committee’s investigators or he could plead the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination. Other options include his attorneys filing a lawsuit in federal court challenging the subpoena. Rapallo added the committee also could decide to hold Snyder in contempt if he does not accept or comply with the subpoena.