White House sends more Solyndra docs to congress after contempt threat
It appears that trying to get all the information about Solyndra from the White House is something akin to pulling an impacted wisdom tooth.
For the third time, the White House has supplied the committee investigating the DoE loan to the solar panel maker with documents that should have been handed over last November when the original subpoena was issued.
Friday marked the third time that the White House provided internal documents to the House Energy and Commerce Committee since Republicans on the panel issued a subpoena for all Solyndra communications in November.
In addition to the approximately 1,500 pages of documents that the White House has now provided to Republicans probing the loan guarantee, federal agencies have given lawmakers more than 185,000 pages of documents.
The months-long GOP-led Solyndra investigation has not unearthed evidence that political favoritism was a factor in granting the loan guarantee. But the probe has unearthed several emails that are uncomfortable for the White House, including several that show administration officials raised internal concerns about the wisdom of approving the loan guarantee.
Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in early September shortly after the California-based solar panel maker laid off 1,100 workers. Republicans immediately seized on the company's collapse, intensifying their ongoing Solyndra investigation.
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), the GOP lawmaker heading up the probe, has alleged that the White House has not been forthcoming with documents in response to the subpoena. He organized a meeting with Republican lawmakers on the committee's investigative panel Thursday to discuss the possibility of pursuing contempt charges over the White House response to the subpoena.
But Stearns told reporters after the meeting that he has not yet determined whether to move forward with the charges, signaling that the additional White House documents would influence Republicans' final decision.
The White House said Friday that it has completed a search for all Solyndra documents from Jan. 20, 2009, to Aug. 31, 2011.
It is doubtful that the White House would have been dumb enough to leave congress a smoking gun document detailing the political influences that were involved in the loan. But at least they can show how dumb the administration was in handing a half a billion dollars to a company that barely had a clue about what it was doing.