WH Will Comply With Solyndra Subpoena, After All

by Andrew Stiles

After initially indicating that it would ignore a subpoena from House Republicans to turn over internal communications documents relating to the $535 million loan guarantee awarded to failed solar company Solyndra, the White House appears to have reconsidered. Top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations announced today that the White House “plans to begin providing responsive materials to the committee’s subpoena.”

“As we have said before, we stand ready to work with the White House on its document production and believe it is entirely possible for the White House to produce information for an investigation that the White House counsel herself has acknowledged is both legitimate and necessary,” Reps. Fred Upton (R., Mich.) and Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.) said in a statement. “We remain hopeful that the White House will demonstrate some good faith efforts of compliance and provide the internal Solyndra-related communications we have been seeking.”

The suboena, formally issued by the committee last week, set a deadline of 5 p.m. today by which the White House must turn over the requested documents. White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler had previously dismissed the Republicans’ request as “overbroad” and “encroaching on longstanding and important Executive Branch confidentiality interests.” The committee Republicans did not indicate if the forthcoming White House cooperation would be in full compliance with the subpoena, which asked for all internal White House documents relating to Solyndra and the $535 million loan guarantee. 

The announcement comes after newly released e-mails show that George Kaiser, a major Obama fundraiser and Solyndra investor, discussed the company in meetings with senior White House officials, directly contradicting earlier claims made by the White House and Kaiser himself.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu is scheduled to testify before the committee next week.

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