Surprise: Solyndra execs to take the Fifth at congressional hearings next week

posted at 4:45 pm on September 20, 2011 by Allahpundit

That’s not what they said would happen last week. Remember? Philip Klein, September 13:

[GOP Rep. Cliff] Stearns, speaking to bloggers at the Heritage Foundation, said the executives called the committee staff yesterday and asked whether they would be allowed to delay their testimony until next week. If they were granted the additional time, they said they’d agree not to exercise their Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions.

“We’re a little flexible if they’ll come next week and testify freely and openly and transparently,” Stearns said. “I can’t say for sure, but most likely they’ll come next week and I think it would be very worthwhile for them to speak transparently and without taking the Fifth.”

Fast-forward a week and there are now four separate federal investigations into the company ongoing. Count ‘em: (1) The FBI’s been probing in conjunction with the Department of Energy; (2) the Treasury Department launched its own inquiry just a few days ago; (3) the House Energy and Commerce Committee is the body that’s been negotiating with Solyndra execs to appear before it and testify; and (4) earlier today Darrell Issa said his House Oversight Committee would start looking into the matter. That’s a lot of heat for a busted solar firm to absorb. And so, the inevitable:

Solyndra LLC’s chief executive and chief financial officer will invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and decline to answer any questions put to them at a Congressional hearing on Friday, according to letters from their attorneys obtained by Reuters.

In the letters sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, attorneys for Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison and CFO W. G. Stover said they advised their clients not to provide testimony during the hearings.

How excited do you think the White House is, with public interest in Solyndra’s sweetheart federal loan peaking, for these two to decline to answer questions in full view of cable news cameras on grounds that doing so might place them in legal jeopardy? I can already see the YouTube montages — 20 or 30 iterations of “on the advice of counsel, I assert my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination” all stitched together, maybe with a photo of Obama looking constipated overlaid while the audio plays. Chop chop, RNC ad team!

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My oh my. I thought the greed and corruption was supposed to stop when the keys to the White House were given to Mr. President. I thought there was going to be an end to the lobbying and special favors and cronyism. I thought the waters would part and the icecaps would freeze and the world would turn green again. NOT.

scalleywag on September 20, 2011 at 6:10 PM

They’re pleading the 5th because they won’t stoop to even dignifying these Rethuglican fake scandals with remarks. I can’t say that I blame them. I wouldn’t even attend. I swear, you people on Hot Air.

crr6/

hawkdriver on September 20, 2011 at 6:18 PM

It’s not the taking the fifth that will perk up sleepi9ng ears across America -it’s the questions asked that made them take the fifth.
“Did you ever have a conversation with any person that in any manner has or had a relationship with any person in the Whitehouse, or any person or business that has had dealings with the White house, and did you or did you not ever speak in any manner about funds with any of these following 27 indivduals who work at the Whitehouse?”
Question two…….

Don L on September 20, 2011 at 6:25 PM

This is more heat than any solar company will ever generate.

400lb Gorilla on September 20, 2011 at 6:32 PM

hawkdriver on September 20, 2011 at 6:18 PM

spot on HD :)

cmsinaz on September 20, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Gotta side with Solyndra execs on this one. I wouldn’t give the time of day to a Congressional committee (or the FBI for that matter) without some kind of immunity. It is suicide otherwise (Martha Stewart comes to mind).

deadman on September 20, 2011 at 6:37 PM

“Mr. President, what did you know & when did you know it????”

portlandon on September 20, 2011 at 5:25 PM

A question we should, and I believe we will, hear repeatedly.

JohnGalt23 on September 20, 2011 at 6:41 PM

BREAKING NEWS OVER AT DRUDGE….

DOJ going after FOX/Murdoch.

We’re headed for a Corazon Aquino moment in this country I think.

Obama and his revolutionaries will not leave next November/January 2013 peacefully.

THIS is the moment they have waited for.

PappyD61 on September 20, 2011 at 6:53 PM

This is Watergate™ quality stuff. Obama, however, will come dancing through this without missing a single round of golf. The country is being run by a thugocracy with the help of the MSM propaganda machine.

Absolutely no stink will get on the Exotic Other.

NickDeringer on September 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Agreed, my greatest fear in all this is that Captain Kickass will walk scot-free.

NY Conservative on September 20, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Cowardly men plead the fifth. Courageous men take responsibility for their actions and face the consequences.

scalleywag on September 20, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Question–how far into proceedings can the execs be granted immunity? Can they be offered immunity during questioning?

txhsmom on September 20, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Anyone taking bets yet on who is going to make in onto the Obama Administration’s “Solyndra Seven” team? I’ll take Spinner, Chu, Holder, Axelrod, The Ballerino, Sunstein & Val for $2,000.

MayorDaley on September 20, 2011 at 8:04 PM

BREAKING NEWS OVER AT DRUDGE….

DOJ going after FOX/Murdoch.

We’re headed for a Corazon Aquino moment in this country I think.

Obama and his revolutionaries will not leave next November/January 2013 peacefully.

THIS is the moment they have waited for.

PappyD61 on September 20, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Easy big fella. The story says nothing about Fox News.

Don’t mislead.

fossten on September 20, 2011 at 8:05 PM

NickDeringer on September 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM

The Watergate scandal was much ado about nothing. A third rate B&E that Nixon tried to cover up after the fact. No money was squandered, no life was lost but the dims and LSM went ape sh*t over it. The pubs responded with the usual spineless cave and told Nixon to leave or they would join in voting for his impeachment.

BTW I am not a Nixon fan he was a National Defense Conservative but a progressive in every other way. The 72 election was the first year I was eligible to vote. Nothing like my first taste in da*ned if you do and da*ned if you don’t voting. What was a man to do with a Nixon verses McGovern choice.

chemman on September 20, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Fossten
You mean like you couldn’t mention Apple if the goverment went after Steve Jobs? Like that? This is 1,000 times WORSE because Rupert Murdoch is (or should I say was) a dissenting political journalism voice. This government of THUGS is intimidating and using political power to legally beat it’s opponents into submission. This is chilling and unsettling. You need to stop misleading by trying to diminish the poster’s warning.

pc on September 20, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Rupert Murdoch invented Fox News. It was his brainchild. This government is behaving in hideous fashion. I feel like I now know first hand what people who disagree with their government in Venezuela and Zimbabwe feel.

pc on September 20, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Nothing like my first taste in da*ned if you do and da*ned if you don’t voting. What was a man to do with a Nixon verses McGovern choice.

chemman on September 20, 2011 at 8:23 PM

And that’s probably when you first began to realize that the primary is probably even more important than the general.

AJsDaddie on September 20, 2011 at 9:47 PM

They need to clarify. Are they taking the Fifth with regards to the Obama bribes or the Obama kickbacks ? Or both ?

Okay, here’s a fifth of cheap Bourbon. Take it. Okay….done deal. Now answer the damn questions about the missing half a billion.

viking01 on September 20, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Nothing like my first taste in da*ned if you do and da*ned if you don’t voting. What was a man to do with a Nixon verses McGovern choice.

chemman on September 20, 2011 at 8:23 PM

I voted for Nixon. A shady Nixon was better than an idiot McGovern. Besides, at the time who knew there’d be a petty break-in at the Watergate that would be grossly overblown into a national scandal. Let’s remember that Nixon learned this tactic from Kennedy. He just wasn’t as competent a crook as the sainted JFK. Clinton and Turdboy have both shown Nixon to have been a small-time candy-filcher by comparison.

SKYFOX on September 21, 2011 at 6:19 AM

In related news, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski declines to appear before an investigating committee of the Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces regarding FCC irregularities in the LightSquared matter.

petefrt on September 21, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Ah, another day, another example of how the most open and honest administration ever handles their business. The types of people they choose to associate with and choose to give taxpayer money to is just mindboggling.
Hey, has Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Amadmaninadinnerjacket asked for any stimulus money? I’m sure Oblala would give him a half a billion to install some solar panels.

smfic on September 21, 2011 at 11:41 AM

…Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Amadmaninadinnerjacket

smfic on September 21, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Best version I’ve seen yet!

Mary in LA on September 21, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Teflon wears out. It isn’t durable like steel or cast iron. Use it enough, pretty soon, stuff starts to stick to it.

a capella on September 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

The thing about Teflon is that it eventually flakes off from wear and abuse. These flakes are poisonous.

mechkiller_k on September 21, 2011 at 9:58 PM

colluding with the white house on the proper story must take time.
rob verdi on September 20, 2011 at 4:49 PM

If I was Obama I would head to the UN and give a speech on something. If he gets lucky the world will destabilize

This is why they should ask for immunity and throw Obama under the bus. If they have anything on him it probably would be the only thing to save their hides…
sandee on September 20, 2011 at 4:55 PM

He may have something on them

entagor on September 22, 2011 at 2:01 AM

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