Ed Driscoll

FBI Raids Solyndra

Just in time for the president’s big jobs/NFL kickoff speech tonight. Ed Morrissey and PJM’s own Zombie have the details:

Barack Obama plans on talking about using stimulus funds for job creation tonight.  Think he’ll mention Solyndra, which his administration fast-tracked to $535 million in taxpayer-financed loan guarantees?  Naaaah:

FBI agents armed with search warrants descended this morning on bankrupt solar company Solynrda this morning.

The investigation comes after a request by the Department of Energy’s inspector general, FBI spokesman Peter Lee told NBC Bay Area News.

Agents arrived at 7a.m. and are examining the factory. Solynrda has a skeleton crew of 100 workers on the scene, closing the factory down. A CNBC photographer on the scene says the FBI has promised a press conference. An agency spokesperson at its San Francisco headquarters says he’s unaware of any such plans.

Just to remind everyone, Obama touted Solyndra as an example of what government subsidies to green-tech firms could do for the economy and job creation.  So far, it’s managed to make $535 million disappear from the economy and took 1000 jobs with it.  As ABC reported yesterday, taxpayers are actually behind the company’s main investor, George Kaiser, in recouping the losses.  Coincidentally, Kaiser was a big bundler for Obama in 2008.

And coincidentally, his company made a lot of visits to the White House over a two-year period while getting the taxpayer subsidies, too (via Zombie at PJ Tatler):

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.

George Kaiser, who has in the past been labeled a major Solyndra investor as well as a Obama donor, made three visits to the White House on March 12, 2009, and one on March 13. Kaiser has denied any direct involvement in the Solyndra deal and through a statement from his foundation said he “did not participate in any discussions with the U.S. government regarding the loan.”

But the countless meetings at the White House seem hardly coincidental. Kaiser, in fact, is responsible for 16 of the 20 meetings that showed up on the White House logs.

As Ed adds, “With Obama about to make a case for even more government intervention and manipulation in markets, this raid couldn’t have come at a worse moment for the administration.  If this raid turns up any official corruption, though, this moment will look like a Sunday afternoon on a Martha’s Vineyard golf course by comparison.”

Update: At Power Line, Steve Hayward ponders, “Is this possibly an attempt at a coverup?  If the Justice Department seizes files and such, they may be able to shield them from a congressional investigation–at least through the election next year.”

More as it comes in.