Can the Solyndra fiasco get much worse for the Obama administration?
What started as a steering of stimulus money to a solar-paneling firm run by an Obama donor yesterday became a Capitol Hill scene that evoked memories of 1950s hearings into mob domination of organized labor.
Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison and chief financial officer Bill Stover both invoked Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination Friday in their appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee; they refused to testify despite previously having said they would.
Solyndra filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, with taxpayers losing out on a $535 million federal loan guarantee. The FBI and the Energy Department raided Solyndra’s Silicon Valley offices days later.
Congress is examining why the loan guarantees were approved despite the Bush administration’s refusal to support the same action in January 2009.
The committee is also exploring whether the administration violated the law by restructuring Solyndra’s loan last February to favor private investors over taxpayers in case the company were to default.