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Solyndra executives invoke 5th at hearing

September 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Top executives from California-based Solyndra faced the hot seat on Capitol Hill on Friday, but they didn't say much.

The solar energy company is under investigation over a $528 million government loan it received in 2009 before going bankrupt this year.

Company executives were called to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but they declined to testify, invoking their Fifth Amendment right.

"On advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer any questions," Solyndra Inc. CEO Brian Harrison said. The company's chief financial officer, Bill Stover, did the same.

Lawmakers from both parties say silence from the executives will not stop their investigation.

Republicans are blaming the Obama Administration, saying the government rushed the review of the loan and did not complete due diligence on the company.

The panel's chairman, Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., compared the Solyndra loan to the Great Train Robbery in England in the 1960s.

"It appears we have a great heist of over half a billion dollars and ... maybe even co-conspirators called the U.S. government," Upton said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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