New emails released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee take a sledgehammer to the White House’s claim it never discussed loans with Obama-bundler and Solyndra-backer George Kaiser. In fact, Republicans may have underestimated how enthusiastic some White House officials were about helping Kaiser with Solyndra. Make sure to move any sharp objects out of stabbing distance from your eyes before reading this:
Emails among George Kaiser, head of the George Kaiser Family Foundation; Ken Levit, the executive director of the Foundation; and Steve Mitchell, who manages Argonaut Private Equity and was a member of Solyndra’s board, show that Vice President Joe Biden’s office was very gung-ho.
“They about had an orgasm in Biden’s office when we mentioned Solyndra,” reads a Feb. 27, 2010, email from Levit to Mitchell. A follow-up email from Mitchell to Levit later that day responds with: “That’s awesome! Get us a (Department of Energy) loan.” …
In an email from Mitchell to Kaiser on March 5, 2010, Mitchell writes that “it appears things are headed in the right direction and [Energy Secretary Steven] Chu is apparently staying involved in Solyndra’s application and continues to talk up the company as a success story.”
More from the emails can be read here, in the letter Reps. Fred Upton and oversight panel chair Cliff Stearns sent to the White House today. Administration officials are objecting that the emails were “cherry picked” by Republicans, but it’s hard to spin the meaning here. No matter how you read them, they clearly contradict the White House’s unequivocal statement that Solyndra wasn’t discussed with Kaiser. Unless Kaiser and others were lying in the emails, how does the administration explain this?
Considering the fact that Kaiser bundled between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama in 2008, it’s extremely pertinent to know whether he discussed Solyndra loans during his numerous White House meetings. The emails bolster the Republican investigation, and will increase pressure on the White House to turn over additional emails the GOP has subpoenaed.