Energy Committee to consider contempt citation against White House for Solyndra stonewalling
posted at 6:15 pm on December 3, 2011 by Tina Korbe
What all present White House scandals have in common: An utter lack of transparency, thanks in part to MSM whitewashing and in part to stonewalling of Congressional investigations by the administration. House legislators are as tired of the latter as conservative new media journos are of the former.
In fact, legislators on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are so tired of the administration’s lack of cooperation that they might sue the White House. For months, the Energy Committee has attempted to investigate the circumstances in which the federal government made a $535 million loan to the now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra. But, predictably, the administration has complied with congressional requests by granting the committee the bare minimum access to information. Now, the Committee might vote on a contempt citation against the White House — and, failing its enforcement, might even file a civil lawsuit against the chiefs of staff of the president and veep.
Sources told Fox News an official from the White House counsel’s office was to confer with committee investigators by telephone on Friday, but that no agreement on the outstanding documents and interviewees was expected.
For that reason, lawmakers on the panel are considering holding hearings — first at the subcommittee level, then for the full committee — to vote on a contempt citation against the White House. Experts said that if such an event were to come to pass, the full House, which is controlled by the Republicans, would have to vote on the citation. If that in turn were to happen, the House would officially refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for enforcement against the White House.
However, since the U.S. attorney for the capital, Ronald C. Machen Jr., is an Obama political appointee, committee Republicans are not optimistic that he would vigorously pursue a contempt citation against the White House.
In that event, committee staffers have explored the prospect of filing a civil lawsuit against William Daley and Bruce Reed, the respective chiefs of staff for the president and Vice President Biden.
Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) says he expects these measures won’t be necessary because he still thinks the White House will cooperate with the investigation, but a WH spokesman suggested to FOX that he thinks the investigation is a waste of taxpayer time and money because the decision to loan money to Solyndra was clearly a “merit-based” one.
My thought: If that is truly the case, what is the harm in complying with congressional requests to clear the air and quickly move past this? In both Fast and Furious and Solyndragate, I’ve been almost as disturbed by the administration’s callous dismissals of concern as by the initial allegations. Don’t these people know they work for us and that we could fire them as soon as November 2012?