House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Cliff Stearns said Thursday the panel issued a subpoena request for White House documents related to the half-billion-dollar loan to the now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra because President Barack Obama’s staff was “slow-walking this whole process.”
“We issued a subpoena on July 15 for OMB [Office of Management and Budget] and of course, the Democrats all voted against it,” Stearns told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.” And we sent a letter to the White House — end of September — Greta. Then we sent two more letters in October asking for information specifically.
“And when we met with the White House counsel yesterday, we couldn’t get any details. So we felt that they were slow-walking this whole process and we felt, Greta, we just had to move forward,” Stearns said. “And so we passed out of the subcommittee today a request for a subpoena — and probably a subpoena will be delivered sometime today, we’re hoping.”
Stearns said he is not sure when the White House will respond to the committee’s demand — which includes emails sent and received on Obama’s Blackberry.
“Well, I can’t tell you the exact return date, but I think we want to get it sooner rather than later because we’ve been working with the White House on and off for two-and-a-half months,” Stearns said. “And surely, after eight- and-a-half months of investigation, you would think they’d be ready for us because we sort of announced very early that we wanted these documents that would show, I guess, four things, Greta.
“One: Is there political influence that contributed to the selection of Solyndra and propping it up — and two: Why didn’t they react, or if they did react to the red flags coming from [the Energy Department],” he said. “And thirdly, what about the subordination? Did they know about it? And how’d they coordinate it? And, I guess, fourthly — just to think about it — you have the leader of the Free World involved with this type of investment. Why was he involved? And what was his motive? So I think those four questions the American taxpayers should get an answer to.”
Van Susteren noted that considering the Barack administration’s responses to the Solyndra issue up until now the demand for documents will probably not be well received.
“I think that’s true — and I think because of the vociferousness of the Democrats on the committee today and how they tried to adjourn our committee — then after that, they tried to amend the resolution, and they fought it tooth and nail,” Stearns said. “So I assume that they coordinated with the White House, and with the White House counsel, and all their staff.”
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