White House Pushes Back on Solyndra Subpoena

In a strongly worded letter to lawmakers, the Obama administration cries foul over document request.

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The White House pushed back hard against House Republicans Friday over their recent subpoena for internal documents related to the Solyndra loan guarantee.

The administration, in a letter from White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, said that the subpoena, which was approved by the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee on Thursday, is a "significant intrusion on Executive Branch interests."

[Read: Obama Has Not Learned From Solyndra Scandal.]

"I can only conclude that your decision to issue a subpoena, authorized by a party-line vote, was driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation," Ruemmler wrote.

Members of the subcommittee have been investigating the Solyndra loan guarantee since February, and first requested documents such as E-mail correspondence from White House staff in September after the solar company declared bankruptcy. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton argued that the White House has put up "partisan roadblocks to hide the truth from taxpayers," making the subpoena necessary.

[See a collection of political cartoons on energy policy.]

"Our request for documents is reasonable," he said in a statement Thursday. "We are not demanding the President's blackberry messages as we are respectful of Executive Privilege. What is the West Wing trying to hide?"

According to the letter, the committee has not given "sufficient justification" for the order, especially given that "none of the more than 85,000 pages of documents produced to date evidence any favoritism to political supporters or wrong doing by the White House."

  • See a collection of political cartoons on energy policy.
  • Read: Solyndra Bankruptcy Raises Questions About Federal Loan Guarantees.
  • Read more from our Energy Intelligence blog.