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. London G. Welsh

    Obama clearly was way over his head when he became President. Now he realizes just how deep the waters are in Washington. He is a one termer, he will go down as the worst President since Jimmy Carter. This fiasco is just another example of "change we can believe in". Yeah you created change alright.....

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

    This attempt at a coverup is going to cost some high ranking Obama administration appointees their jobs. And rightfully so.

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

    Sounds like Custard’s last stand to me

    October 14, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. leeintulsa

    Until he sends thousands to die killing hundreds of thousands because 'he tried to kill my daddy', i'm givin him some slack. As any of you slack-jawed republicans should.. That *is* the bar you set..

    October 14, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andie

      really? You're gonna continue to blame all of Obama's lies, mistakes, and crooked deals on Bush? Get Real...Obama is a LOSER!

      October 14, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • fredstack

      ...Iraq and Afghanistan still ongoing wars, along with Gitmo not closing. The one thing he did do, allowing for openly-gay troops to serve, he decided to not take responsibility for with a mandate and let congress take years to resolve.

      I think it's equally ridiculous for some to say he'll be the "worst president", when we're coming of Bush, but then again...this IS the internet.

      October 14, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Really? Why hasnt Obama pulled the troops out yet then? There has been more troops that died in Obamas first 3 years than there was in Bushes last 5.

      October 14, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • sue

      How sad that you are willing to overlook the possibility of a White House cover-up. If there is nothing to Hide then just turn over the darn emails. Your statement is downright shameful.

      October 15, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I said give him some slack, not a pass. I wonder what's going on, too. But worse president ever?

      Gimme a break.

      October 15, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. Andie

    Where's all the transparency we were promised? He's a complete failure. According to newest release 2011 debt is 2nd highest EVER! My vote will be for anybody but Obama in 2012!

    October 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    I'm still voting for you, leeintulsa.

    October 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Phil

    What is Obama and the white house hiding?

    October 14, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    Good Post for all the Obama Haters on here Now with the bush WMD cover up the BLATENT bush FL election fraud these same republican crybabies were silent. No cover up here TEA BANGERS. keep on bitc*ing.

    October 14, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • scott

      The only election fraud worth complaining about recently has been "change you can believe in".

      What a fraud this last three years has been.

      October 15, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • sue

      s kel Are you and leeintulsa related? God Save Us All.

      October 15, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. s kel

    Phil you dumb clown get your facts right.

    October 15, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. unknown solder

    Already, hundreds more American troops have been killed in Afghanistan during the less than three years of the Obama administration than during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration. According to the

    October 15, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Danigirl65

      Still thousands less than were killed in the illegal war under the Bush administration – Iraq. At least focus went back where it belonged in the first place, but it is now time to draw down.

      October 15, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |


    October 15, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. unknown solder

    that was for you s kel... and no need to be nasty

    October 15, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. JHenery

    Yes he could, and just maybe he did! Old Chicago ways are hard to break, especially in DC.

    October 15, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sheepleherder

    Comparing Obama to Bush is like comparing the two sides of one coin. Neither one was qualified to hold that office ... and there's only yourselves to blame. Most of you, (not all, myself included) voted for one or the other of those two, so quite your crying.

    October 15, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Magiusm

    People clearly did not read the article.

    The White House turned over all matterials. What wasn't turned over, was the president's personal blackberry. As it wasn't sighted in the list of items that was requested. If it was requested, then the president has the right to challange it, just like every other american in this land.

    Solyndra = All files, but the presidental emails and blackberry. State Secrets on them.
    Fast and Furious = All files.

    I am not sure why, but you people who call him a liar... don't have anything. You don't have holder doing anything wrong, you don't have the president doing anything wrong... you just a pack of dogs awaiting the next bone.

    Now, if anything comes out of the Solyndra papers OR the Fast and furious papers... EVIDENCE of wrong doing, then... and only then, can you saything. I would give the same standard to republican or democrat.

    October 15, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
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