Solyndra Just Got Real: Execs Will Take the Fifth in Hearing
Alrighty then, we have ourselves an interesting story that just got more interesting:
Solyndra LLC's chief executive and chief financial officer will invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and decline to answer any questions put to them at a Congressional hearing on Friday, according to letters from their attorneys obtained by Reuters.
You take the fifth to avoid delivering any information that may be used against you in a criminal proceeding.
In the letters sent to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, attorneys for Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison and CFO W. G. Stover said they advised their clients not to provide testimony during the hearings.
The execs' action has prompted a pair of Republicans in the House to ask a straightforward question: What are they trying to hide?
House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R., Mich.) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chairman Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.) respond to reports that the two Solyndra executives scheduled to testify before the subcommittee on Friday will plead the Fifth Amendment, despite “repeated assurances” to contrary:
“Who exactly are Solyndra’s executives trying to protect and what are they trying to hide? Despite repeated assurances that they would testify voluntarily and answer questions this Friday, today we received the news that these executives – who had plenty to say to federal officials when securing half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding for their venture – plan to invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and will not answer questions from Congress.
Our investigation has gotten this far without much cooperation from Solyndra, and it will continue with or without their voluntary testimony. It’s disappointing that the officials who canvassed the halls of Congress in mid-July and misled our members about the financial state of their company are now unwilling to answer direct questions, but any effort to cover up the truth will ultimately not succeed. We will not allow stonewalling by DOE, OMB, Committee Democrats, Solyndra, or anyone else to stop this investigation into what happened to half a billion dollars of the taxpayers’ money.
More at the link. Yes indeed, this will provide an opportunity for some fun ad-cutting. And with four separate investigations into Solyndra going on right now, these execs and their White House friends have to be wondering just how far this whole thing will end up going.