Executives from the bankrupt solar company Solyndra, the subject of multiple probes relating to a $535 million loan from the Obama administration, have backed out of a congressional hearing this Friday and are set to plead the Fifth instead of testifying.The House Energy and Commerce committee received letters today from lawyers representing Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison and CFO W.G. Stover saying they would not testify. The two executives previously informed the committee that they would testify without invoking the Fifth amendment to the Constitution.
But Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) said in a statement that they would continue the probe without them.
“Our investigation has gotten this far without much cooperation from Solyndra, and it will continue with or without their voluntary testimony,” they said.
Last week, officials from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Energy testified that the Obama administration did not speed up the review process for the loan as some assert. The loan was awarded weeks after the company’s auditors raised alarm about the company’s finances and future.
Read the rest of the lawmakers’ statement below:
“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.
“Both Mr. Stover and Mr. Harrison will be sworn in under oath this Friday. We have many questions for Solyndra’s executives on their dealings with the Obama administration, their efforts to secure federal support for a project that appeared doomed from the outset, and why they made certain representations to Congress regarding their dire financial situation just two months ago. We would encourage Mr. Harrison and Mr. Stover to reconsider this effort to dodge questions under oath and hide the truth from those American taxpayers who are now on the hook for their $500 million bust.”
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