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.
On October 5, Republican Chairmen Fred Upton and Cliff Stearns requested “all communications among White House staff and officials related to the $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra” because they believed “the White House was closely involved in the monitoring of the Solyndra loan guarantee after it was issued.”