Source: White House will not turn over all Solyndra documents
October 14th, 2011
09:18 PM ET

Source: White House will not turn over all Solyndra documents

The White House will not comply with requests to turn over documents related to the bankrupt solar company Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government, CNN learned Friday.

A government source provided a letter that White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler sent to House Energy and Commerce chair Rep. Fred Upton and subcommittee chair Rep. Cliff Stearns Friday afternoon responding to their request for internal White House communications related to the Solyndra loan guarantee.

Solyndra is a California solar panel manufacturer that had received $535 million in federal loan guarantees before it was forced to halt operations and file for bankruptcy at the end of August, putting more than 1,000 workers out of work.

Before its failure, the company had been touted as an example of the benefits of creating green jobs by the Obama administration. But since then, it has become the center of congressional criticism and a probe by the FBI.

Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison resigned Wednesday.

Citing precedent, the president's legal counsel is refusing to hand over all internal White House communications related to the energy firm, including President Obama's Blackberry messages, arguing that the president needs to protect open counsel from advisers and staff.

In part, the letter obtained by CNN says the request "implicates longstanding and significant institutional Executive Branch confidentiality interests. Encroaching upon these important interests is not necessary, however, because the agency documents the Committee has requested, which include communications with the White House, should satisfy the Committee's stated objective – to 'understand the involvement of the White House in the review of the Solyndra loan guarantee and the Administration's support of this guarantee.'"

The letter notes the administration in total has turned over 70,000 pages of documents from the Department of Energy, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Department of the Treasury, and over 900 pages from the White House itself. The letter also says the White House will continue to cooperate with the investigation.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics • Solyndra
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. badgov

    the laws only apply to the people the government is above the law.

    October 16, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Gotta love that TRANSPARENCY that was promised so much! Obama "we must bring government action and behavior into the sunlight" . This is not a broken promise this is an out and out lie by our President!!!!!

      October 31, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Wade stem

    He has got to go. Why is he still here? He is doing nothing for the people, WHY WHY Is he still here?

    October 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andy Vaccaro

    Didn't the Bushies can this position on more than one occassion...and weren't the Democrates furious?

    Funny how time (and biases) changes things.

    October 16, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. FarXtremeMiddle

    “UNWANTED WHITE AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS ” never heard of them.........

    October 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AmazeMe

    What happened to his promise of open government? Might only apply when it won't get you in trouble!

    October 20, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. Derek Ditcharo

    Bring all the troops home. 150 Soldiers that will be left behind to work Foreign Military Sales for US Embassy in Iraq are being told there is no living space for them at the Embassy. Send the Soldiers home and let the 15,000+ civilians living at the Embassy work Foreign Military Sales to Iraq. Military Families have sacrificed enough!

    October 25, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. Diane

    This is Solyndra-Gate! This just in.....A SOLAR clean-energy firm led by a member of President Obama's jobs council has a stake in projects that have reaped nearly $2 billion in loan guarantees from WA, a case that has raised conflict-of-interest concerns as the same jobs council pushes for more "government-backed" investment in renewable energy.

    November 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. coverup?

    sounds like a coverup? for who? who is involved in this? saudi?

    November 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mark

    Bush and Cheney covered up more than this.

    November 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Greg

    I think Bush's whole presidency was a cover up and scandal.

    November 12, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
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