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. Reality1

    OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP! OBAMA CORRUPTION COVERUP!

    October 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tomas

    This is the Obama experiment at its best. Hope and Transparency, what a disappointment this President has proven to be. He was given the opportunity by the American people to shape the policies and history of the greatest nation on this planet; a nation that I proudly committed to serving 20 plus years in its Armed Forces. Now, he and his administration believe that they are above the law and can hide behind the walls of the White House. Obama has proven time and time again, that as a first term Senator, he was not prepared to lead the people of the Greatest Nation on Earth.

    October 14, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @tomas: i'm ready as a no term electrician. Your point?

      October 14, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Robert Johnson

    They didn't use the actual words "executive privilege", but it sure smells like the Nixon white House.

    October 14, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Reload

    Finally, CNN actually acting like a news outlet. This stinks to high heaven. So does the Fast and Furious mess but not much reporting from CNN. Fox has been covering both of these stories for a couple of weeks while CNN and MSNBC have been mute. Bias!

    October 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. joe

    What happened to the "transparency" Obama promised during his election??? Obama is no different from Bush. So is this the CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN? or just another lie by Obama?

    October 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Leonore H. Dvorkin

    If I were you, Reality1, I'd have someone take a look at those spastic fingers of yours. You seem to be unable to keep them from hitting the same keys over and over. And prepare to suck it up. Obama will win again in 2012.

    October 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. leeintulsa

    Go...bama? I'll still support him over alternatives. But... Why?

    October 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Julie

    HOW'S THAT CHANGE WORKING????? CORRUPT CORRUPT AND COVER-UP – HOW CAN THEY NOT TURN OVER THOSE E-MAILS???? ISN'T IT PUBLIC INFORMATION FOR THE TAXPAYERS OF THIS COUNTRY???

    October 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Meki60

    Obama is the most corrupt president we have ever had

    October 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Robert

    Leonore H. Dvorkin

    If I were you, Reality1, I'd have someone take a look at those spastic fingers of yours. You seem to be unable to keep them from hitting the same keys over and over. And prepare to suck it up. Obama will win again in 2012

    Keep thinking that fool. he is history. Hopefully Cain will not be affected by the affirmative action fallout from Obama.

    October 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Meki60

    The deal was that the company receives a big Stimulus payment but they must donate part of that to the re-election fund for Obama. Good stuff!

    October 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JeffinIL

    Are you sure Obama isn't a member of the Bush family?

    October 14, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ELH

    Cronyism and corruption–I had hoped Obama and his administration were above that but it seems not. What a disappointment, given the pathetic group of opposition hopefuls, none of whom can expect my vote. I guess I will write in Alfred E. Neuman for POTUS when the election finally rolls around.

    October 14, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ziggy

    This is just one in many corrupt deals that loser obama and his corrupt administration are doing . Loser obama is laundering taxpayer money through the unions in the form of bailouts in return for campaign contributions and other deals like Solyndra in the form of loan guarantees ,in return for campaign donations.Worthless obama is as corrupt as they come and needs to be investigated .

    October 14, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jerry

    If you Republicans want some of us Democrats to not vote for Obama next year then please put up someone decent to go against him okay? The current crop isn't exactly amazing. It doesn't matter how badly Obama messes things up if he still looks better than the nominee the Republicans give us.

    October 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
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