The White House release is the latest move in a long-running tug of war with House Republicans over Solyndra documents. White House officials said they have bent over backwards to provide relevant materials -- those that aim to resolve whether politics entered into the discussions of the Solyndra loans. But House Republicans have argued that they are endowed with investigative power, and have every right to determine which documents are relevant after reviewing all of the materials they have requested.
On Thursday, the White House failed to comply with a noon deadline set by Congressional investigators to produce all communications related to Solyndra.
Last week, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said that the vote by the House and Energy Committee's investigative subcommittee to subpoena all White House records on Solyndra, including emails, documents and memos, "was driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation."
Asked about the deadline by Jake Tapper of ABC News on Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney referenced Ruemmler's earlier response. "As the White House counsel made clear," said Carney, "this is something we view as overbroad, unnecessary, and, I think in my words, when something seems partisan, it probably is."
Carney said that the White House had already been "enormously cooperative with legitimate oversight in this area and others," turning over more than 85,000 pages of documents, and would continue to cooperate with investigators.
"When we hear the Speaker of the House saying that the Republicans will be, quote, relentless, in pursuing this oversight investigation," said Carney, "I think most American people wish they would be as relentless in taking measures to help the economy and create jobs."
The Republican leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which authorized the subpoena on a strict 14-9 party line vote, said "the White House could have avoided the need for subpoena authorizations if they had simply chosen to cooperate."
"That would have been the route we preferred," said Rep. Fred Upton, R.-Mich., chairman of the committee, "and frankly, it would have been better for the White House to get the information out now, rather than continue to drag this out."
Upton said the request for documents was "reasonable." "We are not demanding the President's blackberry messages, as we are respectful of Executive Privilege," said Upton. "What is the West Wing trying to hide? We owe it to American taxpayers to find out."