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White House Calls Solyndra Subpoena ‘Unreasonable Burden on the President’s Ability to Meet His Constitutional Duties’

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By Doug Powers  •  November 5, 2011 10:22 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

When a Republican-led House panel subpoenaed the White House to turn over any and all Solyndra-related documents, I figured they’d drag their heels until about, oh, mid-November of 2012. Sure enough, the White House is protesting the subpoena, but the reason given is funny coming from an administration that has been busy skirting Congress by way of executive order.

From Fox News:

The White House on Friday all but refused to turn over the documents House Republicans have subpoenaed on bankrupt solar firm Solyndra, firing off a letter saying the request would put an “unreasonable burden on the president’s ability to meet his constitutional duties.”
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The feisty response appears to set up a clash between congressional investigators and the White House over the sprawling probe into Solyndra’s finances and the administration’s involvement in the decision to provide the struggling company a $528 million loan with taxpayer money.

White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, in her letter, scolded GOP lawmakers for demanding more documents, noting the Obama administration has already turned over 85,000 pages of documents in the course of their investigation. Without explicitly refusing to comply with the subpoena, Ruemmler repeatedly described the order as “overbroad.”

At a Solyndra hearing, Democrat Rep. Ed Markey, after explaining that the Bush administration also ignored subpoenas and that Republicans circled the wagons to protect Big Oil, claimed that the Republican subpoena of all Solyndra correspondence has nothing to do with getting to the bottom of the bankruptcy and everything to do with the Republicans’ fear of solar power:

“When it comes to solar energy, Republicans embrace the disinfecting power of sunlight and disclosure. When it comes to oil, they seem to prefer to hide behind its murky sheen.

“This is not about using our subpoena power, this is about fossil fuel and nuclear interests wanting fewer Americans using solar power.”

So if the Republicans would just shut up and allow a dozen more Solyndras to get hundreds of millions in additional taxpayer loans and then go under, more Americans would end up using solar power?

Let’s not forget, we’re talking about an administration that came into office billing itself as the most transparent in history. “Bush didn’t have to do it that way” shouldn’t be an acceptable defense if we are in fact witnessing a historic level of transparency.

Meanwhile, a Solyndra auction was held. One man paid $400 for the company banner that served as the backdrop for President Obama when he visited last year:

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Do you think he could get President Obama to sign it? Didn’t think so… just asking.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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