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. LibsLieAlways

    The misssing memos are being srubbed in the "transparency" office.............then they will be handed over to the "hope and change you can count on out of Chicago" office.....

    October 15, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
    • 7TX

      George Bush "lost" millions of emails to avoid turning them over; his administration was about as transparent as a black limousine.

      October 15, 2011 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Still doesn't replace the irony of an administration who PROMISED transparency, who now won't practice that which they preached.

      At least W never promised that.

      October 15, 2011 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      The Obama White House is as criminal as you can get

      October 15, 2011 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    This just about cements this case as ........ "WaterGate II" doesn't it? The exception is that Nixon was all about get elected and Obama's WaterGate II is all about him making money from our taxpayer money. It will come out.

    October 15, 2011 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tom in San Diego

    Is this really a surprise?

    October 15, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philabias

    AS far as I am concerned refusal to comply is in itself proof obama was the top of fast and furious
    IMPEACH THE LIER he should have a fair trial followed by a first class hanging. he is the biggest crimamanal to ever inhabit the oval office, which thanks to obama has now become know as the hole in the wall

    October 15, 2011 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
    • 7TX are waaaaaay over the top. ...and stupid.

      October 15, 2011 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. SixDegrees

    Most. Transparent. Administration. Ever.

    October 15, 2011 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mr

    Epic failure on Obama. Our economy is going to he'll and he is now sending troops Africa???????? Yikes get him out of office

    October 15, 2011 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. dont be a sucker

    six degrees


    CNN can go ahead and close down comments on this article now...nothing else needs to be said

    October 15, 2011 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. DonnieH.

    Just one more of the Bush administrations deals that failed. It was the Bush administration that created "The energy policy act" in 2005 that created the 1703 loan program. In 2006 Solyndra applied for the guarantee under the 1703 loan program. In 2007 Solyndra was one of 16 clean tech companies deemed ready move forward in the process by the Bush administration. In Dec. 2008 and Jan.2009 the Bush administration trys to show they were willing to investing in all energy resources not just fossil fuels so they tried to bring Solyndra up for a review by the credit review committee and have it approved before Obama was inaugurated. In March 2009 that same committee approved the loan with certain conditions that had to be met, after having met those conditions the loan guarantee was finalized 6 months after being submitted to DOE for approval. The entire process took more than 3 years and 2 administrations to complete. Not the 41 days you hear from those on the Right. But hey since when does facts matter to those on the Right. Especially when it comes to President Obama...

    October 15, 2011 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      Interesting spin. But even if true (doubtful) it doesn't address the question at hand: why is the current Administration stonewalling? I strongly doubt it's because they're covering up for GW.

      October 15, 2011 at 5:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. WhyObama2012

    If the Obama administration have nothing to hide, then why not just release all the files to prove their innocence? I will point out there are alot less people defending Obama as there were 5-6 Months ago.

    October 15, 2011 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. model67a

    It looks like the White House is going to do the same thing in this investigation as the Department of Justice is doing in the "Fast and Furious" investigatiion. I thought Obama said that his administation was going to be transparent. It has not been transparent at any time during his term. Really by not supplying the requested information they are admitting that they have done someting wrong and are trying to hide it.

    October 15, 2011 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lee

    I am sorely disappointed in Pres. Obama as I voted for him as I believed and agreed with much of his political messages, recommendations and what he said he'd do when he got elected.
    Now, however, he has already turned into 'Washington D.C'. Refusing to not turn over the e-mails puts him into the realm of Nixon who, in my opinion, was greatly paranoid and obstreperous.
    Lest he changes his ways of being open with us, the people who voted him into office, I'm not sure I'll even vote this year and voting, to me, is almost sacred.
    Sad, disappointed, and angry am I.

    October 15, 2011 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. SixDegrees

    Actions like this by the Administration are like shoveling coal into the GOP's campaign engine. In an election that ought to be the Democrat's to lose, it's looking like they actually will.

    October 15, 2011 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
    • tj66

      Democrats election to lose?! With 9%+ unemployment Obama ought to be unelectable.

      October 15, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      True. But that's likely to improve over the next year, even if only a little, and even a little improvement will be touted as "progress". Sadly, though, the Administration could easily jump-start the economy if they would commit to serious deficit reductions, as it seems to be the deficit that's the biggest stone around the nation's neck at the moment. Making it every larger is not a recipe for success, and at the rate it's increasing it will provide the GOP fodder for decades to come.

      October 15, 2011 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    .................that is because barry is a liar.

    October 15, 2011 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. HZ

    don't wait another year for put him out of office, impeach him now

    October 15, 2011 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      A complete waste of time and the nation's resources unless there's direct evidence of wrongdoing. So far, there's only evidence of gross incompetence, which isn't a crime but can be remedied at the ballot box.

      October 15, 2011 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    Transparent? Got Slush? Maybe the radar's broke. Things happen folks.

    October 15, 2011 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
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