Top Solyndra Officials Plead the Fifth – Won’t Testify On Obama $525 Million Obama Scandal
On May 26, 2011, the White House posted this video praising Solyndra as a Recovery Act success story.
Barack Obama’s gleaming example of green technology – Solyndra – filed for bankruptcy this month. The solar panel manufacturer squandered $535 million of stimulus money in a little over a year.
Top Obama bundler George Kaiser made multiple visits to the White House in the months before the company was granted a $535 million loan from the government. And top Solyndra officials also made numerous visits — 20 — to the White House, according to logs and reporting by The Daily Caller. Solyndra officials in the logs included chairman and founder Christian Gronet and board members Thomas Baruch and David Prend. The company secured the $535 million loan despite the fact that it was widely known Solyndra was in deep economic trouble and had negative cash flows since its inception.
Kaiser said he did not use political influence or talk to administration officials about a massive government loan to Solyndra. However, the Solyndra investor made multiple visits to the White House in the week before the Department of Energy approved a $535 billion guaranteed loan to Solyndra on March 20, 2009
Top Solyndra officials invoked the Fifth Amendment at today’s hearing.
The Politico reported:
Solyndra executives repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment this morning as House lawmakers pressed them to answer questions about the company’s financial collapse and any hopes of repaying their $535 million federal loan guarantee.
“While I hope to have an opportunity to assist this committee in the future, on the advice of my attorney, I must respectfully decline to answer any questions,” Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison told Energy and Commerce oversight subpanel Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), who opened the questioning.
CFO Brian Stover gave a similar response.
The repeated questions drew an objection from Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who slammed Republicans for persisting even after knowing that the executives would invoke their right to remain silent.
“I just want to take this moment to assert the fact that I think it’s unseemly and inappropriate for members to be asking questions that you know they will not answer,” Waxman said, saying the GOP questions were “sound bites” for the press.
Meanwhile, full committee Chairman Fred Upton called it unseemly for the White House to respond to the Solyndra scandal by highlighting Republican lawmakers’ past support for clean energy projects in their districts.
“The administration’s actions in this case are deeply troubling and so is their response to our findings,” said the Michigan Republican, who quoted from a POLITICO story on the White House efforts.
He added: “This is not a debate about the virtues of clean energy, it is a serious inquiry into reckless use of taxpayer dollars on a company that was known to pose serious risks before a single dime went out the door.
“Let me just warn you and the other folks involved in this taxpayer rip-off,” Upton said. “We’re not done. No we’re not.”