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FACTDROP: White House Refuses Request for Emails on Solyndra


White House Refuses Request for Emails on Solyndra

Πηγή: cnbc
By Eamon Javers
Oct 14 2011

The White House Friday evening rebuffed a Congressional committee's request for internal White House emails and other documents on the failed solar company Solyndra.

That request — which was written to expressly include a request for any emails sent by the president himself on the matter — was sent to the White House last week.

But in a letter to GOP Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler argued that the committee is already getting enough information from other entities of the government, including the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Energy and the Treasury.

The White House did not invoke executive privilege in refusing to turn over the documents. Instead, Ruemmler wrote, the request "implicates longstanding and significant institutional executive branch confidentiality interests."

The letter was obtained Friday evening by CNBC from a government source.

President Barack Obama is the first president to use email in the Oval Office, and the dispute over the Solyndra documents appears to be the first to test whether a White House would turn over the emails of a sitting president. It is not clear how the president uses emails, or whether he in fact sent any messages about Solyndra at all.

In an interview with CNBC's John Harwood earlier Friday, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said of the request for documents, "One of the things you're seeing in the last number of years in this town is an enormous amount of requests for things."

"I think it's a lot of politically motivated requests," Daley said. "But there's been a long history of White House communications being protected from a lot of the legislative requests."

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