White House Solyndra Stonewall Reveals Broken Promises of Transparency

February 3, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - The House Energy and Commerce Committee this evening received 313 pages of internal White House documents and emails produced in response to subpoenas issued by the committee exactly three months ago on November 3, 2011. Without claiming executive privilege, the White House disclosed that they are withholding some documents that are responsive to the committee's request. The committee served subpoenas to the Executive Offices of the President and Vice President in conjunction with its investigation into the $535 million loan guarantee made by the Department of Energy to now-bankrupt Solyndra under the 2009 stimulus law.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) issued the following statement:

"It is wrong for the White House to continue this charade insisting that those advisors closest to President Obama were not involved in Solyndra when documents clearly show otherwise. Nearly every West Wing official within the Oval Office's closest orbit - Larry Summers, Carol Browner, Ron Klain, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Jim Messina, Dan Pfeiffer, Jay Carney, and Cecilia Munoz - were all part of Solyndra discussions.

"In the three months since the committee issued subpoenas due to the West Wing's refusal to cooperate, the White House has released just 515 pages of Solyndra documents.  Handing over five or six pages a day is not an acceptable level of compliance in a situation where taxpayers are out over half a billion dollars. It is astonishing that an administration that held itself up to be the most open and transparent in history continues to stonewall, refusing any accountability.

"Taxpayers deserve answers and greater urgency in getting to the bottom of the Solyndra mess. Who instructed Solyndra to delay layoff announcements? What role did the White House play in approving the initial loan?  What role did the White House play in approving the restructuring? What is the overall status of DOE's loan portfolio?

"We have been reasonable and deliberate every step of the way in this investigation, but the public is growing restless with the administration's continued stonewall. If the White House has nothing to hide, they should just hand over the documents.

"Was it crony capitalism or just plain gross incompetence? Our investigation continues. The White House documents are critical to fully understanding the lessons of Solyndra. We have a responsibility to taxpayers to find the right prescription to cure the Solyndra syndrome and ensure the public is never again left holding the bag on the administration's risky bets."

###