White House Refuses to Turn Over Internal Solyndra Documents
Helen Whalen Cohen
10/15/2011 9:12:00 AM - Helen Whalen Cohen
Guy did a great job of wrapping up the Friday news dump, but not long after another tidbit came along: now the White House is refusing a House request to hand over any more internal Solyndra documents.
Congress isn't getting a glimpse of what's on President Barack Obama's Blackberry - or any more internal White House communications related to the bankrupt solar company Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government.
House Republicans investigating the loan controversy had requested all internal White House documents about the issue. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee chair Rep. Cliff Stearns said that includes emails on the President's Blackberry.
On Friday the White House Counsel sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee explaining they won't comply with the request because it "implicates longstanding and significant institutional Executive Branch confidentiality interests."
The response is hardly a surprise given past administrations' refusal to comply with similar congressional requests. The difference here? President Obama is the first Chief Executive to carry a Blackberry, so it's the first time a White House counsel has - even indirectly - turned down an attempt to peek at his email. Neither the Blackberry nor his personal email is explicitly mentioned in the letter.