ASHBORN — Dan Snyder was sworn in again Wednesday after testifying remotely before Congress two weeks ago. This time, however, the Washington Commanders owner appeared remotely before the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency to thank the team and its staff for their work on FedEx Field’s sports betting license.
“We’ll have some significant attendance soon,” Snyder told the board before members voted 6-1 to approve the license. “We’re also very, very optimistic about the season. We finally have a quarterback.”
Snyder’s call didn’t even last 90 seconds — a stark contrast to the nearly 11 hours of testimony the embattled billionaire endured when he voluntarily testified remotely before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Unlike Wednesday’s board meeting, the congressional panel’s July 28 testimony was private, and Snyder told the committee details had yet to emerge.
Lawmakers have been unclear as to where the panel’s investigation of Snyder and Team’s workplace misconduct will go next. But over time, the Democratic-led committee has some decisions to make — and time ticks by.
The House is on recess in August, and while committee staff are still on the job, the recess reduces the likelihood of any major events this month.
“It’s unusual for the committee to make any major public action during the August recess,” said Eric Jones, the panel’s former legal counsel who now works at a regional law firm. “While you can’t rule it out, it’s unlikely the committee will take any major public action when members return to their districts’ homes during the August recess. So whatever happens, it’s unlikely Happened before Labor Day.
“At the same time, it’s worth noting that the committee’s attorneys did continue their investigative work during the August recess. The work is not going to stop,” Jones said.
The committee now has the power to decide if and when any information obtained during testimony is publicly released. This can come in the form of a full transcript or a partial. “The committee has broad powers and flexibility when it comes to releasing testimony or recordings,” Jones said.
If the committee decides to release the transcript of Snyder’s testimony, the panel must follow some procedural steps. Pursuant to Rule 15(l) of the Committee’s Rules, the Committee Chair and senior Committee members “shall consult in advance” on the release of any testimony. If either party objects in writing, the matter is referred to the Committee for resolution. This may delay any consultation or voting on the release of material due to the adjournment of committee members.
The committee must also give witnesses — in this case Snyder — a chance to review the transcript. No later than five days after notification is received, Snyder’s camp may submit proposed changes to the committee chair, and any request must be accompanied by a letter with a statement explaining the reasons for each proposed change.
“Any substantial change, modification, clarification, or amendment shall be included as an appendix to the record, conditional upon the witness signing the record,” Rule 15(j) of the House Oversight Rules states.
During the investigation, the committee expressed its willingness to release previous testimony. Ahead of the panel’s June 22 hearing with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the committee shared key excerpts and full transcripts of four former Washington employees it said illustrate “Mr. The extent to which a toxic workplace is created among commanders.”
In this case, the time between the date of the testimony and the release of the transcript is different. For example, the testimony of former Washington COO David Buchan was held on June 7. But the March 14 testimony of former sales executive Jason Friedman was kept under wraps for much longer. In some cases, edits have also been made.
Democratic lawmakers leading the committee have yet to set a timetable for when the Snyder investigation will be completed.
In June, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, told reporters he was awaiting the latest findings from the NFL’s investigation of Snyder when asked about the committee’s next steps. The league entrusted former SEC Chairman Mary Jo White to oversee allegations of sexual misconduct and financial misconduct by the owners, who denies all wrongdoing.
The claims — which included Snyder touching a former cheerleader’s leg and making unwelcome advances under a desk — stemmed from a congressional investigation.
Lisa Banks, the attorney who accused Snyder’s employee, told The Washington Times that White “may have a few more interviews” and that she needs to interview her client. White also recently concluded a separate investigation into the Miami Dolphins.
“It told me that the next shoe to drop would be Mary Jo White’s report,” Banks said of the Dolphins’ findings. “It seems to me that (the NFL) wants this information to be released in the summer dog days of August.”
No matter what the NFL does, time is increasingly a factor for the committee. Rep. James Comer, a senior member of the committee, told The Washington Times in June that Republicans would halt their investigation of Snyder if they win control of the House of Representatives in November’s midterm elections .
Carolyn Maloney, the chairwoman of the New York Democratic Party, is also in a tight primary with Rep. Jerry Nadler, scheduled for Aug. 23.
In June, Ms Maloney introduced two pieces of legislation based on the Panel’s investigation of commanders. The two bills aim to prevent the use of nondisclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases and limit the abuse of an employee’s image.
Aside from the release of transcripts and the threat that proposed legislation could be shelved if Republicans retake the House, the panel doesn’t appear to have much obvious action to take.
A committee spokesman said last month that if Snyder refused to answer any questions in his testimony, the committee would be “ready to force” Snyder to testify when the owner returned to the United States. After the testimony, a spokesman for Snyder said the owners had “fully addressed all concerns.”
Snyder volunteered to testify remotely in Israel after the two sides haggled over the form of the testimony. The committee insisted that he testify under the subpoena, but ultimately made him testify under oath on a voluntary basis.
Meanwhile, the Commanders will take to the field Saturday for their first preseason game: the official return of the football season.
But the ongoing investigation of Snyder — with at least two attorney generals looking into the owner in addition to Congress and the NFL — has cast a shadow over the action on the ground. Even Washington coach Ron Rivera made that point at the start of the team’s training camp late last month.
“It’s almost expected to be honest with you,” Rivera said when asked about the commander’s regular presence in the news. “It’s circular.”