White House Takes Over Two Months to Hand Over Docs Discussed on December 12
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee this evening received 463 pages of internal White House documents and emails produced in response to subpoenas issued by the committee on November 3, 2011. On December 12, 2011, committee investigators went to the White House for good faith negotiations and presented administration lawyers a proposed list of eleven narrowed categories. The documents produced this evening were relevant to just the second category. Without claiming executive privilege, the White House also disclosed for the second time that they are withholding some documents that are responsive to the committee’s request. The committee has given the White House a February 21, 2012, deadline to turn over all Solyndra related documents.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton issued the following statement:
“Just like clockwork, the White House tries to slip Solyndra documents past the American people late Friday on a holiday weekend. Why did they not turn over this small production months ago? While the White House believes referencing how many documents they have turned over is reason enough to proclaim “˜case closed,’ it is what they are not turning over that is troublesome.
“Today marks a year since we commenced the investigation and the Obama White House has employed every stalling tactic and roadblock in the book. OMB stalled over five months before finally turning over documents in response to our subpoena we issued in mid-July. We made our first request for internal West Wing documents on October 5, 2011. The White House failed to cooperate and we were forced to issue subpoenas on November 3. On December 12, in a good faith effort, committee investigators went to the White House and presented a narrowed list of 12 categories of Solyndra documents for the White House to produce. More than 2 months later, the White House has finally produced documents relevant to just the second category.
“While the White House complains how overly burdensome it is to do a simple network search of “˜Solyndra,’ they remarkably can track down the most obscure of documents when trying to smear political opponents. No matter how hard the Obama administration wishes, this slow trickle of documents will not make Solyndra go away. Taxpayers are out half a billion dollars and we must ensure more Solyndras never happen again.
“The previously established deadline of February 21, 2012, for the White House to turn over all relevant Solyndra documents still stands. The White House lawyers indicated they are prepared to continue searching for documents we identified on December 12 and provide them on a “˜rolling basis’ – we expect to have all of the documents in hand by next Tuesday.”A copy of the committee letter to the White House setting the February 21, 2012, deadline for cooperation can be found HERE.
A copy of the committee’s December 12, 2011, proposed prioritization of document requests presented to the White House can be found HERE.
A copy of the committee memo chronicling the White House’s repeated delays can be found HERE.
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