Solyndra Execs Break Promise to Testify Voluntarily, Will Take Fifth Amendment to Dodge Testifying Under Oath
WASHINGTON, DC - Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) today blasted Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison and CFO W.G. Stover for reneging on their written assurances that they would not take the Fifth Amendment while testifying before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee this Friday. Today's news breaks an agreement that Solyndra's lawyers had made with committee investigators that Mr. Harrison and Mr. Stover would voluntarily testify and answer the Committee's questions about the half a billion dollar loss of taxpayer money.
Upton and Stearns released the following statement:
"Who exactly are Solyndra's executives trying to protect and what are they trying to hide?
Despite repeated assurances that they would testify voluntarily and answer questions this Friday, today we received the news that these executives - who had plenty to say to federal officials when securing half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding for their venture - plan to invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and will not answer questions from Congress.
"Our investigation has gotten this far without much cooperation from Solyndra, and it will continue with or without their voluntary testimony. It's disappointing that the officials who canvassed the halls of Congress in mid-July and misled our members about the financial state of their company are now unwilling to answer direct questions, but any effort to cover up the truth will ultimately not succeed. We will not allow stonewalling by DOE, OMB, Committee Democrats, Solyndra, or anyone else to stop this investigation into what happened to half a billion dollars of the taxpayers' money.
"Both Mr. Stover and Mr. Harrison will be sworn in under oath this Friday. We have many questions for Solyndra's executives on their dealings with the Obama administration, their efforts to secure federal support for a project that appeared doomed from the outset, and why they made certain representations to Congress regarding their dire financial situation just two months ago. We would encourage Mr. Harrison and Mr. Stover to reconsider this effort to dodge questions under oath and hide the truth from those American taxpayers who are now on the hook for their $500 million bust."
The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on "From DOE Loan Guarantee to Bankruptcy to FBI Raid: What Solyndra's Executives Knew" this Friday, September 23, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
To view the letters sent to the Committee that the Solyndra executives would invoke the Fifth Amendment, click HERE.