Daniel Snyder is summoned by the House Panel. Here’s what’s next.


 Daniel Snyder is summoned by the House Panel.  Here's what's next.

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Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder successfully avoided the fate of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who spent two and a half hours questioning during a congressional hearing on Wednesday, by simply refusing to attend.

But in doing so, Snyder may have increased his legal risk and complicated the billing that the House Committee on Oversight and Reform has determined about his role in Washington’s NFL franchise workplace, which it has been investigating for eight months.

Snyder is expected to be served with a subpoena next week to deliver an affidavit to the committee, according to Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.), chair of the committee.

Testimony from congressional committees is conducted privately, with attorneys present for both parties to the committee, as well as the person to be removed and their attorney. The interview will be fully transcribed; it can also be recorded on video. It is up to the committee to decide whether to publish the transcript and/or videotape.

Given the release this week of more than 700 pages of documents related to his investigation by the committee, including full transcripts of the affidavits of former Commanders executives Brian Lafemina and Dave Pauken, it seems certain the panel will also air Snyder’s testimony .

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Snyder has few dodges left to stick to.

Like all Americans, Snyder has the constitutional right to assert his Fifth Amendment protections by refusing to answer questions and invoking his right not to incriminate himself. But that privilege isn’t available just because you might object to the questions you can ask, according to David Rapallo, a Georgetown law professor and former staff director of the House Oversight Committee.

“If he wants to take fifth place, he has every right to do so, although he hasn’t indicated that he intends to do so,” Rapallo said on Thursday. “Others did it”

Snyder could also try to negotiate details of the testimony, such as timing.

Lawmakers generally try to accommodate reasonable requests, Rapallo said. But in this case, after twice refusing to appear voluntarily, Snyder may have run out of reasons.

The first reason given by his attorney – that he had a conflict with the June 22 hearing date – has now been addressed as Maloney has indicated his testimony will be next week.

The other reason given by Snyder’s attorney – that he wanted advance copies of the documents on which the questioning would be based – also appears moot after the committee published the documents on its website. Additionally, Snyder may have lost the goodwill of the panel’s Democratic leaders, who want to question him about his role in both a long history of workplace grievances and, more recently, an attempt to obstruct the NFL’s investigation by what the committee as a “shadow campaign” to intimidate and silence former employees.

Maloney hinted at this when announcing plans to issue the subpoena, saying it was clear Snyder was “more concerned with protecting himself than cleaning up with the American public.”

Maloney took the move after asking Goodell what the NFL was planning to do to hold Snyder accountable for refusing to testify before Congress.

“Madam Chairperson, I am not responsible for his appearance before Congress,” Goodell said. “It’s not my choice. That is his choice.”

Asked afterwards about Snyder’s refusal to appear, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said: “We live in a time where there are people who feel they are above the law. Unfortunately, that sense of impunity and arrogance is a bit of a social contagion these days.”

Raskin noted that the vast majority of those subpoenaed to appear before the Jan. 6 select committee, of which he is a member, came forward and cooperated, although about a dozen did not.

“Maybe Dan Snyder took inspiration from those who think they’re somehow above the representatives of the people in Congress,” Raskin said.

Said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.): “Tapping your nose in Congress is not a good strategy.”

If Snyder flatly refuses to comply with Maloney’s subpoena, Rapallo says it would be “a pretty serious move.”

Subpoena for Daniel Snyder, investigation of Roger Goodell at party hearing

The Committee would then have a number of options.

Congress can despise him. The committee could also expand its scope and call for testimony and hearings from others close to Snyder: his aides, deputies and others who may have information, Rapallo said.

“It’s a tactical question, but if he had attended the hearing, he would have testified for a couple of hours,” Rapallo said. “Now he faces testimony, which normally takes much longer, will be conducted by committee lawyers and will be subpoenaed. And even then, it’s entirely possible that after the testimony, the committee will summon him to a hearing. As such, witnesses faced with such circumstances often conclude that it is in their best interest to cooperate and attend the hearing.”

It is not believed that any NFL rules would specifically require Snyder to comply with a subpoena from Congress or sanction him for non-compliance. The NFL declined to comment beyond Goodell’s response to Maloney’s questioning on the matter during the hearing Thursday.

A spokesman for the commanders’ ownership Thursday did not respond to a request for comment.

Candace Buckner: When all is said and done on the Snyder Inquiry, more is said than done

Eventually, Snyder could simply stall by prolonging negotiations and contesting any subsequent court order to run out the clock until the November midterm elections in hopes that Republicans will gain control of the House of Representatives.

If that happens, Maloney would likely be replaced as chairman of the House Oversight Committee by James Comer (R-Ky.), who has consistently derided the investigation into the Commanders’ workplace as a waste of lawmakers’ time and taxpayers’ money.

“When Republicans retake the House of Representatives in January, the Oversight Republicans have no intention of pursuing an investigation into the Washington Commanders and will return the committee to its primary mission of rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government,” Austin Hacker said. a spokesman for the Republican committee said Thursday.

Paul Kane and Nicki Jhabvala contributed to this report.

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