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HENRY A. WAXMAN,
ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS
(!Congrtss of tne Wnfttb ~tatts
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON,
(202) 225-2927 (202) 225-3641
Ms. Kathryn Ruemmler Counsel to the President The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Dear Ms. Ruemmler: Thank you for your letter dated November 4, 2011, regarding your receipt of the subpoena the Committee issued on November 3, 2011, in connection with our investigation of Solyndra, Inc. (Solyndra). We appreciate your willingness to work with the Committee to accommodate its legitimate oversight interests. Executive Branch departments or agencies typically perform an internal review in response to Committee document requests and provide feedback to the Committee staff that can better inform the issues surrounding the production of documents. As we expressed during our meeting one week ago, in order to move this negotiating process forward, it is important that you provide information from your own internal review, such as how many individuals in the White House were involved in the Solyndra matter and the quantity and type of responsive documents in the possession of the White House. We could then discuss your concerns based on actual facts rather than hypothetical fears about the nature and scope of the Committee's request. As for your suggestion that we first review the documents previously produced by other agencies, please be assured that we did so before issuing the subpoena. Many of those documents demonstrate that White House employees were closely involved with decisions regarding Solyndra and the loan guarantee program, which is precisely the reason that we sent our document request letters to you over the past two months. Those requests were largely ignored, forcing the Committee to issue the subpoena. The documents we have obtained thus far demonstrate that such high level White House advisors as Valerie Jarrett, Ron Klain, Rahm Emanuel, and Larry Summers were involved in discussions and decisions related to Solyndra. This raises some serious questions about the
Letter to Ms. Kathryn Ruemmler Page 2 management of the Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee program, as well as the priorities of the White House. If only a few White House employees were involved in the Solyndra matter and thus there is only a small number of documents responsive to our subpoena, those documents will not be costly or burdensome to produce. If, on the other hand, numerous White House employees were involved in the Solyndra matter and there are a large number of responsive documents to produce, then other questions are raised. Based on the documents that we have obtained thus far, it seems clear that this intense interest in Solyndra manifested itself in pressure on DOE and the Office of Management and Budget to rush their decisions related to Solyndra's loan guarantee, ultimately resulting in the loss of over half a billion dollars of taxpayer money. Further, while our inquiry is not focused solely on possible political influence surrounding the Solyndra loan guarantee, that is certainly one area of interest. We note that the White House has repeatedly stated that no political influence was brought to bear with regard to Solyndra, and that Mr. George Kaiser, a Solyndra investor and Obama fundraiser, never discussed Solyndra during any of his seventeen visits to the White House.' Documents recently obtained by the Committee directly contradict those statements. Please see attached three such examples that clearly establish that Mr. Kaiser and/or his operatives discussed Solyndra with White House officials. In light of the foregoing, the American people clearly deserve to know why they have lost over 500 million dollars as a result of the Administration's decision to proceed with the Solyndra loan guarantee and its restructuring. To advance that cause, we stand ready to engage in further discussions with you regarding the document production. In the absence of any further information from you regarding the scope of the responsive documents in your possession, however, we expect you to fully comply with the stated deadline. Please call one of us or have your staff call Karen Christian or Todd Harrison with the Committee staff at (202) 225-2927 when you are prepared to discuss these matters further. Sincerely,
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
I October 6, 2011, ABCNEWS.com, Obama: Solyndra Got Loan 'On the Merits' Quoting from the report: "a White House official familiar with an internal review of meetings between Kaiser and such senior presidential aides as Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse, told ABC News that the White House now firmly believe that Kaiser never broached the subject of the Solyndra loan. Kaiser has 'said publically (sic) that Solyndra was not discussed at these meetings, and we have no reason to dispute that,' the White House official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he had not been given approval to discuss the matter."
Letter to Ms. Kathryn Ruemmler Page 3 cc: The Honorable Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Member The Honorable Diana DeGette, Ranking Member Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
George Kaiser Friday, October 08, 2010 12:58 PM Steve Mitchell; Ken Levit
RE: Solyndra Update
As we discussed briefly, I think the same political calculus holds for the DOD: Why don't you pursue your contacts in the WH to follow up on the casual comment during the plant visit and we can possibly reinforce the effort so long as it is in the form of "I thought you should know, in case it comes up" rather than "can you help with this: Keep us up to speed.
Understood. The WH meeting is more about assistance in selling panels to the government than it is about getting the DOE loan revised. The WH has offered to help in the past and we do have a contact within the WH that we are working with. I think the company is hoping that we have some unnatural relationship that can open bigger doors -I've cautioned them that no one really has those relationships
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From: George Kaiser Sent: Wednesday, Octc)bg[
Subject: RE: Solyndra Update
I question the assumption that WH is the path to pursue when both of your issues are with DOE. I doubt whether Rouse/Browner would intervene and, if they did, I am concerned that DOE/Chu would resent the intervention and your problem could get more difficult. I would see
an appeal as only a last resort and, even then, questionable. We need to discuss.
From: George Kaiser To: Mitchell Cc: Subject: RE:
Sounds good. I assume that we would not move ahead with the offering DOE approval or would you issue while you are under due diligence?
until we have formal
BTW, a couple of weeks ago when Ken and I were visiting with a group of Administration folks in DC who are in charge of the Stimulus process (White House, not DOE) and Solyndra came up, everyone of them responded simultaneously about their thorough knowledge of the Solyndra story, suggesting it was one of their prime poster children.
From: Steve Mitchell Sent: Friday, March 05, 20103:39
PM 'Ken levit'
George, Chris Gronet had a good call with Jonathan Silver of the DOE today. Apparently our application has been caught up With several other groups who were also wanting a second bite at the DOE loan guaranty apple. This started a policy discussion as to whether a company should be able to get a second loan. Jonathan Silver championed the cause that they should and he has just this week apparently won that battle. He would not say that we are the firSt one that will be considered but he all but did - he conceded that we are the only company to have actually closed and funded on our loan and most of the other companies still have no revenues. He has asked for another call for next wed or thur but said he will not have an answer then but that he is hoping to release an answer with a couple of weeks. To be clear, then "answer" we are looking for is that the DOE will then proceed on formal due diligence and toward a term sheet - so not definitive that we get the loan guaranty but broadly (Including Goldman, MS and others close to the DOE process) seen as a very positive sign as it Is the same diligence that the DOE conducted on the front end of the fab (same engineering teams and the environmental - which was the single largest gating item last time - is already done on the entire
CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY
sight). So it appears things are headed In the right direction and Chu is apparently staying involved In Solyndra's application and continues to talk up the company as a success story.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Steve
sent: Friday, March To: Steve Mitchell
Hi Steve, Jonathan Silver was very positive but didn't have a definite answer on diligence yet. We will talk again next Thurs. Chris Gronet
From: Chris Gronet
This e-mail and any accompanying attachments contain information that is confidential to Solyndra, Inc. The information is intended solely for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. Any review, disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of this e-mail communication by others is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify us immediately by returning this message to the sender and delete all copies. Thank you for your cooperation.
CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY
Steve Mitchell Saturday, February 27, 2010 2:00 PM
That's awesome! Get us a doe loan
-~ From: Ken Levit To: SteVe Kitch sent: Sat Feb 21 07:55:17 2010 Subject: Re: KPMG
They about had an orgasm in Biden's office when we mentioned Sotyndra.
To: Ken Levit Sent: Feb 27 07:49:07 2010 Subject: Re: KPMG
From: Steve Mitchell
We'v~ been giving~. been getting them ~
................................ ' •• , .; ••••••• , u ••••• •
pdated numbers. They are wor1dng on some bUIasking for money but I'Ve just (8811yknow. That process Is fOreign to me
_ _ ••••••• ,~ ; "" ~ ., _ , •••
From: Ken Levit
To: Steve sent: Sat Feb 27 06:46:15 2010
Subject: Fw: KPMG . Curious.
Is stuff going on? I got a report ,yesterday from a' lobbyist at capital that
8 bit screwy about quality jobs act changes.
Thanks. We met with ARRA Recovery Team In Blden's office-they Solyndra.
seemed to love our Brady Project-also
all big fans of
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