Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted Thursday to subpoena the White House for all internal communications related to the failed solar company Solyndra.
The subpoena escalates the ongoing battle between the White House and Republicans over a $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee to Solyndra, the California solar panel maker that filed for bankruptcy in early September, setting off a firestorm in Washington.
Republicans have pummeled the White House over the loan guarantee for weeks, using Solyndra’s bankruptcy to challenge the administration’s green-energy agenda.
Naturally, Obama’s camp will scream that this is all about politics, and they’ll fight the subpoena on executive privilege grounds and whatever else they can think of.
But that won’t help their cause. Remember, the coverup is usually what kills you deader than the crime does.
And you really don’t get anywhere by saying “this is all about politics” on this deal. John Q. Citizen hears that and says, “Sure it is. So where’s my half-billion dollars you wasted, jackass?” People don’t like it when you waste lots of their money on crooked deals with your cronies and then wave it off like it’s no big thing.
Solyndra’s only the first of several boondoggle “green energy” loans this administration has made. Every one of them is a political disaster, and every one of them involves some Democrat donor whose presence makes the loans look like they came as a result of cronyism.
This thing by itself would take Obama down in next year’s elections. The question is whether when he does go down it gets pinned on Solyndra and the related boondoggle loans, or if something else supersedes it in the public eye.
But this scandal, while it’s been around for a little while, is really only just getting started.
UPDATE: Rep. Steve Scalise was one of the “yes” votes…
“The Obama Administration has stonewalled our investigation into the Solyndra scandal at every step of the way, and the primary reason we were able to uncover the facts we have now is a result of the subpoena process,” Scalise said. “In light of more than $500 million in taxpayer money being lost due to Solyndra’s bankruptcy, it is shocking that the White House continues to obstruct this investigation by refusing to release the vital documents related to this scandal. The American people have a right to know the truth about the White House’s involvement in this fleecing of more than $500 million in hard-earned taxpayer money.
“E-mails continue to surface showing that the Obama Administration rushed the Solyndra loan at the urging of the White House, yet the White House has refused to turn over key documents pertaining to this loan. The White House continues to tell the Committee that the limited documents they previously provided are sufficient, but the target of an investigation doesn’t get to decide what details are relevant. This subpoena will enable the committee to receive answers to our questions in a timely and efficient manner so we can have the transparency necessary to get to the bottom of this scandal.”