Solyndra Stonewall on Capitol Hill

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 23, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Congressional investigators ran into a Solyndra stonewall this morning on Capitol Hill. Now, two top executives from the failed solar company refused to answer any questions relating to the $535 million taxpayer funded loan. Instead, well, they all took the fifth. Let's take a look.


BRIAN HARRISON, PRESIDENT & CEO, SOLYNDRA: Mr. Chairman, I have tremendous respect for this subcommittee and the important oversight rule that it plays. As much as I wish to be able to answer the member's questions, I've been advised by my counsel that it is better course for me to assert my constitutional right to decline to answer questions under the Fifth Amendment.


HANNITY: But this investigation is far from over. Moments after the hearing concluded, the House Energy and Commerce chairman took to the microphones and had this message for Solyndra and the Obama White House.


REP. FRED UPTON, R-MICH., ENERGY AND COMMERCE CHAIRMAN: We're not done. We didn't get any answers today on legitimate questions posed by Republicans and Democrats. But, at the end of the day, we have to find out what happened to this taxpayer money. Half a billion dollars.


HANNITY: And while the Congressional investigation continues, The New York Times has uncovered even more damning evidence tying Solyndra to the White House. A front page article in Today's Times reveals that Solyndra lobbyists met with an Obama aide, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, at least three times to push for government assistant. In fact, these lobbying efforts cost the company nearly two million dollars. But in the end that price tag may have been worth it for Solyndra after all they were handed a taxpayer check for more than half a billion dollars.

Here with reaction, Republican congresswoman from the great state of Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn is back. And she was at this morning's hearing. Democratic Congressman from New Jersey Rob Andrews is back.

Congresswoman, you are there today, by the way, they initially said they were not going to take the fifth, so a lot has changed.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, R-TENN.: That's correct. Last week they were going to appear at the committee and answer our questions. Then we found out they were going to take the fifth. What we would like to know from them is, what they knew, when they knew it, when they found out that their business model was broken? Did they discuss this in board meetings? Why did they come to Capitol Hill in July and tell us that things were improving and that they were on the right track, production was going to double? And then six weeks later, they are filing for bankruptcy.


BLACKBURN: There are so many questions on this, they continue to grow.

HANNITY: There's one other question. Why in February, did they restructure the loan so that the taxpayers would be paid back last? I think that is another question.

BLACKBURN: Well, that's unprecedented. And you have questions, is this allowed? Was it legal? But for Mr. Kaiser to be put in front of the taxpayers, this is just so completely inappropriate. And Sean, when you know that he has visited the White House. When you know that Mr. Harrison, the CEO has interacted with the White House to get the initial loan. And you uncover this chain of e-mails which we have uncovered. We've been working on this investigation since February.


BLACKBURN: And of course, last week we did the first of our interviews with Mr. Silverman and Mr. Saynts (ph) and then today, the unproductive time, if you will, other than getting our questions on the record, that we did have for the CEO and CFO and the answers we would like to have.

HANNITY: All right.

Congressman Andrews, here's what stinks to high heaven, about this, about LightSquared, about everything else, is you've got big donors to the Obama campaign, bundlers, people that support the president. That gets them in the door, not once, not twice, not three times, four times the week before they get the money. We have our own government investigators saying, whoa, we need time to do due diligence here. Don't rush this deal. The money is given over any way. In the case of LightSquared you had a four star general being pressured, but I don't want to mix the two. And, you know, it just stinks to high heaven.

Is this the type of corruption that the American people that are suffering, they can't take, you know, family vacations? They are giving up buying new cars. They can't send their kids to private school. Both parents have to work. Do you think the American people deserve answers here?

REP. ROB ANDREWS, D-N.J.: We most certainly do. And whether it is a Democrat or Republican White House or Congress, if someone has done something wrong they should be prosecuted or sued or dismissed, if they are an employee.

HANNITY: How about the fact if you bundle money you get to go to the White House, you get the money. Doesn't that whole system stink?

ANDREWS: Yes. It does stink. You know it is not unprecedented. This frankly has been an ugly fact of American political life for a very longtime.

HANNITY: Forget about that, I'm dealing with this case.

ANDREWS: And I think, Sean, that wherever the facts take us in this case, they should go. If someone did something wrong, they should be held accountable for it.

HANNITY: Yes. All right. What does this mean? What does this tell the average person? Because the president made a big deal about A, being transparent. The president made a big deal about things we are going to change in Washington. Big donor, big bundler, big access. Because the average person you know, Congressman, doesn't get to visit the White House once, never mine four times in the week leading up to this money being given. Does that seem like the president is playing this cronyism that he campaigned against?

ANDREWS: I don't think he is, Sean. Because I'll tell you, in prior administrations, I don't know we would have had the same degree of disclosure as to who had those meetings and when for what purpose. The reason the president voluntarily has disclosed more about what goes on inside that White House, because he wanted to do that. Let's see where the facts lead. But let me say this again, if the facts lead to wrongdoing, no matter who it is that person should be held accountable. No doubt about it.

HANNITY: Congresswoman, I would contend that this is not -- that maybe Congressman Andrews is right, maybe this has been standard operating procedure. What is your investigation shown in terms of the unprecedented access by people that supported the president and they got all this taxpayer money, you know, and all the warnings were this -- as a matter of fact, they even predicted the month and year the company would go bankrupt.

BLACKBURN: Right. And that's an e-mail that I used in the hearing last week. Sean, we have the e-mail chain that shows the Bush administration, January 9th of '09, before President Bush left office, they said do not make this loan. This loan cannot hold up. Don't make it. President Obama is sworn in. Then there's the e-mail chain that reactivates this loan and then fast tracks this loan.

You have career OMB analysts and Department of Energy loan analysts who are saying, it is not ready for prime-time. One of the e-mails that I had from August of '09, August 20, '09 showed the OMB analyst saying with the liquidity issues, the burn-right (ph) on the money, this company will be bankrupt in September 2011. That is exactly what happened. But for some reason they moved forward. They made the loan. The president and the vice president were there.

HANNITY: Do you see potential for criminal prosecution in the end here?

BLACKBURN: I think we are going to end up seeing where this takes us. We are far from over on this. Every hearing we do, we have more questions at the end of the hearing than we got answers.

HANNITY: All right. We'll going to continue to follow this, this is your money.

BLACKBURN: Thank you.

HANNITY: Five hundred thirty five million dollars, down the drain.

BLACKBURN: And we want to get it all back.

HANNITY: That's true.

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