Committee Leaders Renew Request for Internal White House Solyndra Documents
WASHINGTON, DC - Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) wrote to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler renewing their request for all internal White House communications related to Solyndra. The White House recently informed the committee that it would not turn over any internal documents related to Solyndra. Upton and Stearns initially requested the internal communications on October 5, 2011 after documents revealed the President's closest confidantes monitored the Solyndra loan.
In the letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, Upton and Stearns wrote:
"The fact that other agencies are in the process of attempting to comply with our request for documents does not excuse the White House from producing its own responsive documents. Our request to the White House is not duplicative of our requests to other Executive Branch agencies. We note that the White House does not claim that it does not possess responsive documents relating to Solyndra. Indeed, documents produced to the Committee thus far indicate that several senior advisors in the White House - including those in the office of the Chief of Staff, the Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, and the Senior Advisor for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs - were either warned about the Solyndra loan guarantee or were engaged at various points in the review of Solyndra or in planning the President's visit to the company's facilities in May 2010."
The Committee leaders continued, "The Committee has also been informed that the Department of Energy briefed the White House in August 2011, while the DOE was considering a second restructuring of the Solyndra loan guarantee. In addition, the Committee is in possession of a memorandum to the President from several senior advisors regarding problems with the loan guarantee program. These issues, among others, are central components of the Committee's investigation."
The Committee leaders also addressed Ruemmler's veiled threat to invoke executive privilege, writing, "In your letter you make a vague reference to your concerns regarding the confidentiality of Executive Branch documents. However, unless the President actually asserts a valid claim of executive privilege, the Committee is entitled to the documents responsive to its request."
View a copy of Upton's and Stearns' October 18, 2011, letter to White House Counsel Ruemmler HERE.
View a copy of the White House Counsel's October 14, 2011, refusal to cooperate HERE.
View a copy of Upton's and Stearns' October 5, 2011, request to the White House HERE.