The House Oversight Committee clearly wants Commanders owner Daniel Snyder to testify. He clearly does not, in my opinion.
And so the dance continues, with Snyder (in my opinion) hoping to run out the clock on the current Congress, hopeful that the Republicans will retake control of the House of Representatives and end the investigation into the Commanders.
On June 22, during an open hearing at which Commissioner Roger Goodell voluntarily testified, Committee chairperson Carolyn Maloney expressed an intention to subpoena Snyder. In the three weeks since then, the two sides have been engaged in an awkward dance. Snyder will testify, but on his own terms. The Committee wants no restrictions on his testimony.
Snyder should have no restrictions. He’s using his wealth, power, and privilege to create obstacles. His lawyer, who possibly is charging him four figures per hour, is doing the job she’s been hired to do. Delay, delay, delay.
That’s the big takeaway from the latest link in this goofy-ass chain. Via Peter Hailey of NBC Sports Washington, Karen Patton Seymour’s latest letter to the Committee claims that “there is no valid basis to issue a subpoena for Mr. Snyder’s testimony.” Seymour adds that Snyder is willing to testify remotely on July 28, but without a subpoena.
The back-and-forth over the subpoena comes from a very narrow and specific wrinkle in the broader case. Without a subpoena, Snyder will be able to hide behind any and all nondisclosure agreements that settled potential claims against him or the team. With a subpoena, he’d have to answer questions about what happened.
It’s a standard term in NDAs. The parties agree not to talk to anyone about anything related to the subject of the agreement, with an express exception for testimony subject to a subpoena. Because a subpoena always trumps an NDA.
Seymour nevertheless claims that “Mr. Snyder will be able to provide full and complete testimony during his voluntary appearance.” Without a subpoena, however, he’d technically be able to hide behind any and all NDAs, most of which surely were crafted not to protect the other party to the deal, but to protect Snyder himself.
Obviously, there’s a reason for Congress wanting Snyder to testify subject to a subpoena. If it truly won’t make a difference, he should just do it.
Until he does, it will appear that he doesn’t want to. That he’s possibly trying to run out the clock. That the Committee, just like the league office, is afraid of him.
Why is everyone afraid of this guy? C’mon, people. Do your jobs. Do the right thing. Quit screwing around with Snyder and get him under oath, before it’s too late to do it.