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Republicans: White House is ‘stonewalling’ Solyndra probe

The White House failure to supply all requested documents to the group investigating the DOE’s loan guarantee to the now-defunct Solyndra has angered House Republicans.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee subpoenaed the White House back in November, 2011, and set a deadline of February 21, 2012 for the handing over of Solyndra related documents. In December 2011, the Committee outlined a list of eleven categories of requested documents.

Last Friday, February 17, the White House supplied 463 pages of documents to the Committee. Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) was, however, not impressed, charging that this submission only covered one of the aforementioned categories.

“Just like clockwork, the White House tries to slip Solyndra documents past the American people late Friday on a holiday weekend. Why did they not turn over this small production months ago?”

“While the White House believes referencing how many documents they have turned over is reason enough to proclaim ‘case closed,’ it is what they are not turning over that is troublesome,” he said.

Representative Fred Upton. Photo Credit: Michigan Radio

“Today marks a year since we commenced the investigation and the Obama White House has employed every stalling tactic and roadblock in the book…No matter how hard the Obama administration wishes, this slow trickle of documents will not make Solyndra go away,” Upton continued.

The White House hit back, claiming the committee’s demands were unwarranted. “Republicans’ allegation of political favoritism is as unfounded today as it was a year ago when they started this investigation,” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz.

“Yet, despite no evidence to support their accusations — or perhaps because of it — the Committee continues to demand more materials with no real relevance to the Energy Department’s decision making on the loan,” he said.

The White House turned over over almost 2,000 pages of documents both before and after the subpoena was issued. Other federal agencies have also submitted over 180,000 pages of documents.

But as the February 21 deadline came and went, the White House did not turn over the complete cache of requested internal communications. The Committee chairmen were, once again, defiant in their stance.

“From day one, Obama administration officials attacked our investigation, proclaiming that Solyndra was a smart investment unworthy of scrutiny, destined for success,” said Upton, in a joint statement with Cliff Stearns (R-FL).

“Now, it has been 140 days and nights since we first asked the White House for their internal West Wing Solyndra communications. How much longer does the White House believe the truth needs to wait? The deadline has come, and we will do what is necessary to answer the many outstanding questions surrounding Solyndra,” they said.

According to PV Magazine, the White House sees this push for further documentation as politically-motivated.

“At last month’s House Republican retreat, the Leadership increased pressure on its members to ratchet-up oversight of the Obama Administration for political reasons,” said Schultz.

“And we are now seeing that directive come to life. It is troubling that House members would use their investigative authority and taxpayer resources to seek a political advantage. We believe political motivations shouldn’t drive this investigation.”

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