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Solyndra Battle Heats Up as GOP Demands Obama Emails

The battle over the White House's documents in the Solyndra matter heated up Wednesday as congressional Republicans released a letter to the White House counsel demanding release of the information.

A worker installs solar panels at the Lieberose Solar Park in Lieberose, Germany.
Getty Images
A worker installs solar panels at the Lieberose Solar Park in Lieberose, Germany.

On Friday, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler wrote to Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, rebuffing their demand for documents related to the failed solar company Solyndra. The committee is specifically asking for any emails President Obama himself may have sent on the issue.

But today, the committee released a letter in response saying the White House's denial isn't good enough.

In the letter, the committee effectively dared the White House to invoke executive privilege on the documents or turn them over.

"In your letter, you contend that it is not necessary for the White House to produce its internal communications relating to Solyndra, because the Department of Energy, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of the Treasury are in the process of producing other documents relating to that loan guarantee," wrote Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan and Cliff Stearns of Florida, both Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

"The fact that other agencies are in the process of attempting to comply with our request for documents does not excuse the White House from producing its own responsive documents," they said.

"We note that the White House does not claim that it does not possess responsive documents relating to Solyndra," the duo added. "In your letter you make a vague reference to concerns regarding the confidentiality of Executive Branch documents. However, unless the President actually asserts a valid claim of executive privilege, the committee is entitled to the documents responsive to the request."

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