Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the testimony of Morgan Wright. Wright is the Obama administration’s Director of Strategic Initiatives in the Department of Energy. According to Issa’s statement, Wright has refused to appear for a subpoena in the investigation into Solyndra, the failed “green” tech company that lost more than half a billion taxpayer dollars in the form of a government-backed loan approved by the Obama administration.
“The decision of this key figure in the Solyndra scandal to ignore his legal obligation to appear for a deposition is unprecedented and regrettable. This reflects poorly on not only Mr. Wright’s character, but also on Secretary of Energy Chu and other employees who worked on matters related to the loan program,’ said Chairman Issa.
“This refusal to appear as ordered by a lawful subpoena only adds to the perception of wrongdoing and attempts to hide what really happened in the loan program office. Taxpayers will likely lose billions on the Obama Administration’s ill-conceived loan guarantee program and the appearance of cronyism only enhances the need for answers.
“Mr. Wright was given notice more than two weeks ago that he would be depositioned under rules written years ago by committee Democrats that explicitly bar agency counsel from representing him. His excuses for not appearing were last minute and not fully credible. I had already agreed with Ranking Member Cummings that we would discuss Mr. Wright’s concerns about representation when he arrived and before deciding whether the deposition would proceed today. Wright’s failure to appear was an act of bad faith.
“I am reissuing a subpoena for Wright’s deposition. This does not, however, absolve Mr. Wright from the consequences he, his current or future employers, or his associates at the Department of Energy may face as a result of his failure to meet his obligations today.”
According to Chairman Issa’s statement, Wright’s testimony is important because he “played a critical role in making decisions about controversial loan guarantees that largely benefitted political supporters of the Obama administration.”
The statement adds that emails show that Morgan Wright was involved in an “organized effort within the Department to use his non-official email account to discuss loan decisions as part of an intentional effort to avoid scrutiny and disclosures under federal laws.”
Update: Wright’s refusal to testify could result in a contempt of Congress charge, according to Rep. Issa’s statement.