White House Turns Over 66 Pages of Internal Solyndra Communications, Bringing Grand Total to 202 Pages Turned Over to Date - Committee Leaders Renew Call for Full White House Compliance to Ensure Solyndra Mess Never Happens Again
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee this evening received 66 pages of internal White House documents and emails produced in response to subpoenas issued by the committee on November 3, 2011. The committee had previously received 136 pages in mid-November. 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. The limited document production comes a day after news broke that Solyndra is seeking a half million taxpayer dollars for employee bonuses.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) issued the following statement:
“The handful of documents confirm that those closest to the president – David Axelrod, Carol Browner, Ron Klain, Jim Messina, and Cecilia Munoz among others – were closely monitoring the potential Solyndra loan the first week of March 2009. And yet, despite the illustrious cast of West Wing characters playing a role in the controversial loan, the White House has only handed over 202 pages of internal Solyndra communications in response to our subpoenas. The sad truth is the Solyndra loan was tainted by stimulus politics from the outset, being rushed out the door over the protests of the administration’s top experts, layoffs delayed until after the 2010 elections, and an indefensible loan restructuring, all of which has left taxpayers on the hook for half a billion dollars.
“Folks are fed up with the administration’s record on spending, and we echo their disgust with the recent news that Solyndra is now seeking a half million taxpayer dollars for employee bonuses – a direct result of the administration’s restructuring. Despite the White House’s best efforts to run out the clock on the investigation, we owe it to American taxpayers to uncover the whole truth behind the Solyndra mess and ensure it never happens again.”
NOTE: Committee investigators have been engaged in ongoing negotiations with the White House. Investigators met with the White House Counsel’s office the afternoon of December 12 to discuss compliance with the subpoena. At the request of the White House, committee staff provided a reasonable list of targeted document categories for them to prioritize in their search and production. In doing so, the committee did not waive our right to additional documents. However, we are making every effort to accommodate any legitimate concerns on the part of the White House about how they can comply with the subpoena, and providing a preliminary list of document categories eliminates any suggestion on their part that the request is overly broad. Negotiations continued through the holiday and into the New Year.
It took nearly two months for OMB to begin to fully comply with the committee’s July 15, 2011, subpoena, but committee investigators were dogged in their pursuit and finally obtained OMB documents that are instrumental in what the committee – and the public – now know about the Solyndra loan. For example, documents produced through that subpoena confirmed that the White House was intimately involved with Solyndra and closely monitored the loan guarantee. Committee investigators remain committed to learning the West Wing’s full involvement in Solyndra.
Recent committee activity regarding Solyndra:
January 12, 2012, letter to Morrison Foerster law firm, which advised DOE during the Solyndra loan guarantee agreement and its restructuring. The letter can be found HERE.
January 12, 2012, letter to Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati law firm, which advised Solyndra on many different issues including obtaining and restructuring the DOE loan guarantee. The letter can be found HERE.
December 20, 2011, letter to GSA regarding contracts for Solyndra to provide solar panels on government buildings. The letter can be found HERE.
December 20, 2011, letter to SAIC, the parent company of R.W. Beck, which provided two independent reports for DOE on Solyndra – the market analysis and the engineer’s report. The letter can be found HERE.