Last Wednesday, a Republican leader of the Solyndra investigation released emails between White House officials and George Kaiser, a donor to President Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL) said the emails showed that George Kaiser had discussed Solyndra, despite claims from the administration and Kaiser himself that no discussion of the bankrupt solar firm took place.
In a letter to Reps. Stearns and Upton, Diana De Gette (D-CO) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) said the emails presented “a misleading and inaccurate account,” citing unreleased emails that contradict the three publicized emails. The two Ranking Members criticized the Republicans for using unfair tactics throughout the investigation, tactics that “reflect poorly on the Committee’s objectivity.”
Waxman offered his opinion on the email release to the Atlantic Wire, saying the Republicans leading the investigation have “handled this investigation on strictly partisan grounds,” and calling the investigation “politically-rigged.”
He also said the subpoena for these documents was unnecessary, but was glad that the White House complied. “Congress is entitled to get information that is related to a legitimate oversight investigation involved with the loss of taxpayer money,” he said.
Rep. Waxman. Photo Credit: Politico
But Stearns claims their handling of their investigation is not unprecedented, nor is it a political matter. Stearns told the Atlantic Wire the investigation “has been conducted carefully and fairly.”
“Our investigation is only doing what the Constitution provides, namely, oversight of the Executive branch. We are looking at all the loan guarantees from DOE and through this investigation questioning the value of these loan guarantees to the American taxpayers,” he told the Wire.
He said the Solyndra case “shows a disturbing close relationship between political donors and wealthy bundlers who invested in the company and the President.”
White House Response
On Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney continued in the same vein as Waxman, claiming Republicans are using the investigation as a “political football,” by selectively releasing documents to build up controversy.