FBI raids Solyndra this morning: "Anybody seen $535 million around here?"
At this moment, FBI agents are raiding the now-vacant Solyndra offices in Fremont, executing a Department of Energy and Office of Inspector General warrant in search of evidence about the plant's abrupt bankruptcy last week.
A beleaguered Solyndra spokesman took a wild guess at what the FBI might be looking for:
Solyndra spokesman Dave Miller said the search came as a surprise, but he emphasized the company is "fully cooperating" with federal officials. He said he did not know the purpose of the search, but he speculated it could have something to do with the $535 million in loan guarantees the Department of Energy awarded to Solyndra.Ya think?
While the “Anybody seen $535 million around here?” quote in the headline is of course a joke, Business Insider adds some key context to the raid:
The Obama administration's relationship with the company has come under scrutiny since the bankruptcy was abruptly announced last week. The Daily Caller reported that between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011, "Solyndra officials and investors made no fewer than 20 trips to the West Wing."Solargate?
NBC's local affiliate now has a photographer on site who has filed the first images from the raid:
(Photo by Christie Smith / NBC Bay Area)
Agents arrived at Solyndra at 7a.m. and were examining the factory. Solynrda has a skeleton crew of 100 workers on the scene, who are closing the factory down.
Here's a direct link to the Daily Caller article cited above:
Not only does the now-bankrupt solar energy firm Solyndra have a cozy financial relationship with the Obama administration, company representatives also made numerous visits to the White House to meet with administration officials, The Daily Caller has learned.
According to White House visitor logs, between March 12, 2009, and April 14, 2011, Solyndra officials and investors made no fewer than 20 trips to the West Wing. In the week before the administration awarded Solyndra with the first-ever alternative energy loan guarantee on March 20, four separate visits were logged.
ABC's blog now has an even better picture:
The L.A. Times just added the most iconic picture yet: