White House Rejects Demand for Solyndra Documents

Congress serves White House, Biden's chief of staff with subpoenas.

ByABC News
November 4, 2011, 4:40 PM

Nov. 4, 2011 — -- The White House today rejected a Congressional demand for documents related to the failed solar firm Solyndra, accusing the Republicans on a committee investigating a massive federal loan to Solyndra of playing politics.

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 "overbroad," "unprecedented and unnecessary." She noted that the White House had already supplied investigators with 85,000 documents.

"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 to Rep. Fred Upton, R.-Mich, chair of the committee, and Rep. Cliff Stearns, R.-Fla., who heads the subcommittee.

Rep. Upton issued a statement Friday saying that he had served both White House chief of staff William Daley and Vice President Biden's chief of staff Bruce Reed with subpoenas on Thursday evening.

"The White House could have avoided the need for subpoena authorizations if they had simply chosen to cooperate," said Rep. Upton. "That would have been the route we preferred, 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."

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