White House Releases Solyndra Papers; Committee Ponders Next Steps


The House Energy and Commerce Committee says it has received 313 pages of new internal White House documents and emails related to the $535 million U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee given to bankrupt PV module manufacturer Solyndra. The papers were produced in response to subpoenas issued by the committee on Nov. 3, 2011.

However, the Obama administration plans to withhold certain documents, without claiming executive privilege. Committee Chairman Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., expressed dissatisfaction with both the withheld documents and the speed at which the White House has supplied information for the Solyndra investigation.

‘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,’ Stearns said in a statement. ‘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.’

Stearns also reiterated his belief that certain presidential advisors – including Larry Summers, Carol Browner, Ron Klain, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Jim Messina, Dan Pfeiffer, Jay Carney and Cecilia Munoz – were significantly more involved with Solyndra-related discussions than the Obama administration has acknowledged.

Stearns and his Republican colleagues in the House Energy and Commerce Committee met last week to plan the next steps in their ongoing investigation into whether the DOE and other members of the Obama administration engaged in wrongdoing regarding Solyndra's loan and post-loan-guarantee oversight.

No final decisions were made at the meeting, but all options remain on the table, according to a report from law firm Van Ness & Feldman. These options include bringing a contempt of Congress vote against the White House.

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