Solyndra Execs Broke Pledge to Appear, Answer Questions

by Andrew Stiles

Yesterday, two top Solyndra executive scheduled to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee this Friday announced they would invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions at the hearing. Top Republicans on the committee were not pleased, citing “repeated assurances” that the company’s officials would answer there questions. And they have proof.

An e-mail released today by committee staff clearly shows that Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison had agreed to testify and answer questions, despite being under investigation by the FBI, provided he was given more time to prepare. Harrison and Solyndra CFO W.G. Stover, Jr., had originally been scheduled to appear at a committee hearing last Wednesday, but their appearance was postponed until this Friday under the assumption that they would not plead the Fifth. The message, dated Sept. 10, 2011, was written by an attorney for the defunct company to committee staff, and reads:

As I discussed a few moments ago, the CEO of Solyndra, Brian Harrison will appear voluntarily and answer the Committee’s questions on any day the Committee chooses, beginning next week and continuing thereafter. He will appear without any need to issue a subpoena. I respectfully request this delay for the reasons I described, particularly the possible benefit to the taxpayer.

The hearing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Friday. For a preview of what to expect, see here.

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