Do Solyndra Emails Show Potential Illegality?

Yesterday, the Washington Post published a story about the push for Solyndra loan coming from the top at the White House. That story came out around 4pm Friday. I, like many others covered it. That story has been heavily re-written by the authors late Friday night (at least the link goes to the story, and I cannot find a different link), and now wonders about the legality of the loan: Solyndra loan deal: Warnings about legality came from within Obama administration

Energy Department officials were warned that their plan to help a failing solar company by restructuring its $535 million federal loan could violate the law and should be cleared with the Justice Department, according to newly obtained e-mails from within the Obama administration.

The e-mails show that Energy Department officials moved ahead anyway with a new deal that would repay company investors before taxpayers if the company defaulted. The e-mails, which were reviewed by The Washington Post, show for the first time concerns within the administration about the legality of the Energy Department’s extraordinary efforts to help Solyndra, the California solar company that went bankrupt Aug. 31. (snip)

The e-mails show that Mary Miller, an assistant Treasury secretary, wrote to Jeffrey D. Zients, deputy OMB director, expressing concern. She said that the deal could violate federal law because it put investors’ interests ahead of taxpayers’ and that she had advised that it should be reviewed by the Justice Department.

“To our knowledge that never happened,” Miller wrote in a Aug. 17, 2011, memo to the OMB.

In February, the restructuring was approved by Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

So, now we’re left with the questions about who knew what and when in the White House. Did they push to restructure the loan despite potential illegality? Every document drop reveals more and more bad information for the Obama administration. Place your bets on who Obama will throw under the bus. Place your bets on if he knew about this. And, much like the Fast and Furious scandal, if Obama didn’t know about this, why? This is the kind of information that should have at least been mentioned to the chief executive.

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