House Ratchets Up Probe of White House Involvement in Solyndra Scandal
Fourteen Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) sent a strongly-worded, five-page letter to the White House on 9th February setting a 21st February deadline for turning over documents related to the White House’s involvement in the Solyndra scandal. The letter also demands that five officials be made available for interviews by 17th February.
The letter notes that the Committee requested the relevant documents five months ago and has made every effort to accommodate the White House’s concerns. As to the reasons why the White House has refused to comply with the committee’s subpoena last fall, the letter notes that the White House has not claimed executive privilege for the withheld documents and demands that if executive privilege is going to be claimed the White House must let the committee know by 21st February.
The Department of Energy made the first renewable energy loan under the 2009 stimulus bill to solar panel maker Solyndra, which is based in Fremont, California. The entire $527 million of taxpayer money was lost in August when Solyndra declared bankruptcy. The largest private investor in Solyndra, George Kaiser, is a major Obama and Democratic Party donor and fundraiser and has been a frequent visitor to the White House during the Obama presidency.