White House withholding Solyndra records, House energy committee says

C.J. Ciaramella Contributor
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Despite a subpoena, the White House is still withholding records related to the failed $535 million federal loan to Solyndra, Republican investigators from the House Energy and Commerce Committee said Thursday.

In a letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler today, Republican committee Chairman Fred Upton and subcommittee chairman Cliff Stearns said the White House had not fully complied with the committee’s Nov. 3 subpoena for documents concerning the Solyndra loan.

“[D]ocuments already in the Committee’s possession clearly indicate that you have numerous other documents in your possession which are responsive to the subpoena, but which have not been produced,” the letter reads. “In order for the Committee to complete its investigation of the problems with the loan guarantee program and the related loss of taxpayer dollars, those documents must be produced to the Committee.”

The $535 million Department of Energy loan to Solyndra has been the target of intense public scrutiny and investigation by since the solar company declared bankruptcy on Aug. 31.

Republicans say the loan was fast-tracked and warning signs with the company were ignored to appease the White House and its much-touted green energy initiative. The White House and the Department of Energy both say the loan was merit-based and there was no politics behind it.

In response to the letter, the White House repeated that the Solyndra loan was not politically motivated and said all the evidence produced so far in the long, ongoing investigation supported that.

“White House counsel is reviewing today’s letter but we are entering month ten of this investigation and everything disclosed in the 185,000 pages of documents, nine committee staff briefings, five Congressional hearings, emails from Solyndra investors, and Committee interview with George Kaiser, affirms what we said on day one: this was a merit based decision made by the Department of Energy,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. “We only wish that some of the Committee’s zeal to investigate was replicated in efforts to grow the economy. Since May, the House Commerce Committee has held five different hearings on Solyndra, and zero on legislation that would directly produce jobs.”

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C.J. Ciaramella