Report: Rahm Pushed Solyndra Deal

A new report by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce contains a spate of White House emails that suggest former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel may have been the driving force behind President Obama’s now-infamous speaking appearance at the $535 million taxpayer-funded boondoggle known as Solyndra.

A few email highlights include:

  • From a White House staffer to an Obama scheduler: “Ron [Klain, VP Joe Biden’s former chief of staff] said this morning that the POTUS definitely wants to do this (or Rahm definitely wants the POTUS to do this?).”
  • From the Director for Special Projects in the office of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel: “POTUS involvement was Rahm’s idea.”
  • From Ron Klain: “Rahm was super hot for this” because “[j]obs and high tech and Recovery Act is a winning combination.”
  • From Heather Zichal, a top deputy to White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy Director Carol Browner (Zichal reportedly had concerns about the Solyndra event): “‘folks in the financing community’ had also raised concerns about the Solyndra loan guarantee, ‘[but] if Rahm wants it, we’ll make it happen.’”

On Friday, Carol Felsenthal of the Chicago Magazine reported that Mr. Emanuel has since tried to distance himself from the Solyndra debacle:

When asked about his involvement last September, he responded that he didn’t “remember that or know about it.” That line will bite the dust in the heavily documented House report full of emails from people on the White House staff who seem especially eager to please (read: to not cross) the famously hard-charging Rahm.

Solyndra’s chief investor, George Kaiser, was an Obama bundler. 

As Peter Schweizer revealed in the book Throw Them All Out, 80 percent of all $20.5 billion in Department of Energy loans went to companies owned by or connected to President Obama’s top donors.


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