A theory is surfacing that the DOJ investigation of Solyndra, itself, may be a White House attempt to prevent the subcommittee from getting full answers in their investigation. Marlo Lewis writes:
In their opening statements, Republican members reiterated the many unanswered questions sparked by Solyndra’s bankruptcy: Why did the Department of Energy (DOE) approve a $535 million loan guarantee to a company whose liquidity was a major concern since 2009? Did political pressure from the White House for a photo-op and green jobs PR tip the scales at DOE and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in favor of approving the loan guarantee? Why did DOE restructure Solyndra’s loan even though allowing the company to fail sooner would have been less costly to taxpayers? Why were taxpayers subordinated to private investors in the restructuring, in apparent violation of the law? To what extent were any of these decisions influenced by President Obama’s political ties to Solyndra investor George Kaiser?(htBobMurphy)
Questioning Solyndra’s CEO and CFO under oath might have helped the Committee get to the bottom of those issues. But with the Justice Department (DOJ) investigating Solyndra, Harrison and Stover would run the risk of self-incrimination if they testified as promised. This, however, sets the stage for a new line of speculation about possible wrongdoing by the White House. Commmittee member Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) wondered whether DOJ launched its investigation just to keep the Solyndra execs from testifying:
In light of the fact that the Justice Department got a search warrant for your records shortly after the unflattering emails from within the Obama administration were given to this committee, do you feel you have been unfairly targeted by the Obama administration Justice Department in order to keep you from testifying here today? Or do you believe the Justice Department’s investigation in this matter is a smokescreen, by the administration, to shield the administration’s gross negligence in giving you and possibly others questionable loan guarantees in the first place? Or do you believe it is a smokescreen for the administration’s decision to subordinate $75 million of taxpayer money against the clear meaning of the law?