Treasury Joins FBI, Congress in Investigating Stimulus Loan to Failed Solar Panel Company

The Treasury Department has launched an investigation into a now-defunct solar panel company’s $528 million stimulus loan, focusing specifically on the federal bank that processed it.

The loan to Solyndra has set off a firestorm on Capitol Hill, with a Republican-led House committee releasing emails suggesting the White House had pressured budget officials into expediting their fiscal review of the loan ahead of a plant groundbreaking. The company was touted prominently by the Obama administration for its work growing so-called green jobs…

But the company went bankrupt this month and is now the target of investigations by the FBI and the Energy Department, as well the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Treasury Inspector General’s Office said Wednesday night that it too, is investigating the loan, because it was processed by Federal Financing Bank, a government lending institution that falls under Treasury’s control. The Treasury’s investigation was first reported by ABC News, which quoted a spokesman as saying investigators would “look at everything the FFB had to do with its role in this thing.”…

emails released by the House committee show that the relevant credit committee decided “not to engage in further discussions with Solyndra” in the final days of the Bush administration. After the change in administration, officials restarted the loan review process for Solyndra.  “A half a billion dollars that was not supported in January under the Bush administration was … conditionally recommended in March,” Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, pointed out…

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Related: At, Obama’s Big Green Boondoggles; Solyndra circus! Dems’ Blame Bush/Big Oil mantras; OMB warned: Firm “not ready for prime time;” Update: Treasury IG investigates; “Everyone knew”

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