Ben Johnson, The White House Watch
Despite the Obama administration’s desperate attempts to blame George W. Bush for the Solyndra loan scandal, House Republicans have initiated a series of high-profile investigations into whether the loan guarantee was a political payback. Company VIPs have already said they will invoke the Fifth Amendment when called to testify before Congress tomorrow.
One of the people Republicans must compel to testify about her role in the scandal is Barack Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett.
Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison will take the Fifth when he (briefly) testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday. Committee chairman Fred Upton of Michigan has asked, “Who exactly are Solyndra’s executives trying to protect and what are they trying to hide?”
Harrison hopes to hide the role one of his chief shareholders played in currying, or buying, favor with Jarrett and the administration.
In 2009, the same year Solyndra received its $535 million federal loan guarantee, the George Kaiser Family Foundation made a $10,000 donation to the Urban Health Initiative at the University of Chicago Medical Center. The foundation controls 35.7 percent of Solyndra.
Just months before Kaiser’s foundation poured tax-exempt cash into its coffers, Valerie Jarrett served as the medical center’s chairwoman. The initiative was created by none other than future First Larcenist Michelle Obama. In an earlier act of cronyism, Michelle “recommended” the center hire David Axelrod’s firm to provide PR in 2006. Indeed, the project employed a bevy of Obama’s Chicago cronies. In a 2008 story, The Washington Post reported….