DOE Continues to Thwart Solyndra Investigation

by Andrew Stiles

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee continue to be frustrated by the Obama administration’s lack of cooperation in their investigation into the Solyndra loan scandal. They are still pressing the White House to hand over all relevant internal communications, including e-mails and messages on President Obama’s BlackBerry device. Earlier this week, the Department of Energy announced that committee investigators would not be allowed to interview Susan Richardson, chief counsel of the DOE loans program office and author of the controversial legal memo authorizing the subordination of taxpayers to private investors as part of an agreement to restructure Solyndra’s initial $535 million loan guarantee.

Oddly enough, while the DOE is not making Ms. Richardson available for transcribed interviews, the department will allow her to testify under oath at a forthcoming committee hearing. The use of such interviews is standard practice during congressional investigations. The move by DOE is the latest in a serious of decisions that continue to raise the question of ‘What is the administration trying to hide?’

In a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, top Republicans on the committee said they were “puzzled” as to why DOE was willing let Richardson testify but refused to make her available for an interview, and urged Chu to reconsider. “It is time for all the facts to come out about the Solyndra loan guarantee,” they wrote. “We hope for the DOE’s continued cooperation in providing the Committee with the information it needs to conduct its investigation.”

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