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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Dan Snyder’s Congressional’s Deposition Became ‘Intense’ at Times

  • Snyder appeared voluntarily for the deposition conducted by the House Oversight Committee on Thursday.
  • While the deposition was conducted in private, a transcript could be released publicly.
Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder answered questions for nearly 11 hours Thursday and some of the exchanges with the House Oversight Committee were “intense,” a source with knowledge of the contents of deposition told Front Office Sports.

The exact details of the questions asked by the committee and the responses given by Snyder were not immediately known. The deposition is thought to be a pivotal part of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into hostile workplace allegations that stretch back several years along with Snyder’s alleged efforts to obstruct an NFL-initiated probe.

Snyder, who was put under oath, testified remotely from Israel, where he attended a memorial service for his mother who died a year ago.

“Mr. Snyder fully addressed all questions about workplace misconduct, described the Commanders’ dramatic two-year transformation and expressed hope for the organization’s bright future,”  a Commanders spokesperson said in a statement to Front Office Sports. “After concluding the memorial services for Mr. Snyder’s mother, Mr. and Mrs. Snyder look forward to returning their focus to supporting the efforts of the Commanders’ incredible employees and executive team and delivering a winning season for Commanders fans.”

The length of Snyder’s testimony matched or exceeded many of the the lengthier depositions conducted by the House Jan. 6 committee. It was also more than four times longer than the committee hearing last month where NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was the sole witness.

Snyder didn’t decline to answer any of the committee’s questions and the length of the proceedings were not related to interruptions by Snyder’s attorney, according to a source with knowledge of the deposition.

The Commanders’ full statement referenced that the Committee’s investigation concluded last month, but a source with knowledge of the Oversight Committee’s investigation told FOS that’s not the case. The investigation remains ongoing.

Unlike a hearing, depositions aren’t open to the public. A stenographer was on hand to produce a transcript of the deposition, which the committee could release as it did with others as part of its investigation into the Commanders that began in October.

It wasn’t clear until a couple hours before the deposition if it would take place as scheduled. Snyder’s legal team insisted that he would only sit for the deposition if he could appear voluntarily.

The House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena for Snyder on June 24, two days after Goodell testified . A placard for Snyder was placed on the table in a symbolic gesture to note Snyder’s absence. 

“Rather than show up and take responsibility for his actions, he chose to skip town,” Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) said at the start of the June 22 hearing. “Apparently, Mr. Snyder is in France where he has docked his luxury yacht near a resort town. That should tell you just how much respect he has for women in the workplace.”

Snyder hasn’t been served with the subpoena. 

Maloney wrote in a July 12 letter that her insistence that Snyder appear under a subpoena was “to ensure that Mr. Snyder’s testimony will be full and complete and will not be restricted.”

“Mr. Snyder has committed to providing full and complete testimony, and to answer the Committee’s questions about his knowledge of and contributions to the Commanders’ toxic work environment, as well as his efforts to interfere with the NFL’s internal investigation, without hiding behind non-disclosure or other confidentiality agreement,” an Oversight Committee spokesperson said in a statement before the deposition began. 

“Should Mr. Snyder fail to honor his commitments, the Committee is prepared to compel his testimony on any unanswered questions upon his return to the United States.”

Beyond the harassment allegations laid out by several former Commanders employees, Snyder was the center of a claim made by former Commanders cheerleader and marketing manager Tiffani Johnston at a roundtable discussion in front of the Oversight Committee in February. 

At a networking event, Johnston alleged Snyder placed his hand on her thigh under a table and Snyder “aggressively pushed” her toward his limo later that night. 

Snyder called Johnston’s allegations “outright lies” in a statement. 

Earlier this year, the Oversight Committee expanded the scope to include allegations of financial irregularities. FOS was the first to report that the committee had obtained information that Snyder allegedly held back revenue from the NFL. 

In April, the Oversight Committee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission where it stated that under Snyder’s leadership the Commanders have had a “troubling, long-running, and potentially unlawful pattern of financial conduct.”

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