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In their letter to the White House, Mr. Upton and Mr. Stearns also cited an Oct. 6, 2010, email from Mr. Mitchell to Mr. Kaiser.

“The WH meeting is more about assistance in selling panels to the government than it is about getting the [Energy Department] loan revised,” Mr. Mitchell wrote.

“The WH has offered to help in the past and we do have a contact within the WH that we are working with. I think the company is hoping that we have some unnatural relationship that can open bigger doors - I’ve cautioned them that no one really has those relationships anymore.”

In a subsequent email two days later, Mr. Kaiser wrote that the “same political calculus” holds for the Department of Defense.

It’s unclear what defense issue Mr. Kaiser was referring to in his email, but a House Republican lawmaker recently questioned the Pentagon about a $400,000 Navy contract that Solyndra stood to receive not long before its collapse.

In an earlier email, Mr. Kaiser told Mr. Mitchell that he questioned the assumption that the “WH is the path to pursue,” saying he doubted whether “Rouse/Browner would intervene,” referring to White House counselor Pete Rouse and former energy aide Carol Browner.

In the same email, Mr. Kaiser said he viewed a White House appeal “only as a last resort and, even then, questionable.”

Later, Mr. Kaiser told Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Levit in a separate email to “pursue your contacts in the WH to follow up on the casual comment during the plant visit and we can possibly reinforce the effort so long as it is in the form of ‘I thought you should know, in case it comes up’ rather than ‘can you help with this.’”

Mr. Obama toured Solyndra’s plant in California last year in a widely publicized event. During his visit, Mr. Obama remarked, “The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.”

The White House has declined to produce documents on Solyndra in response to the congressional subpoena. In a letter last week to the committee, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said the subpoena has been driven more by partisan politics than a “legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation.”

‘I never lobbied Solyndra

Another of the emails released by Republicans discusses a meeting between Solyndra’s former chief executive, Chris Gronet, and the head of the Energy Department’s loan program, Jonathan Silver.

“So it appears that things are headed in the right direction and Chu’s apparently staying involved in Solyndra’s application and continues to talk up the company as a success story,” the email states.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu is expected to testify to Congress about the Solyndra loan later this month. Mr. Silver resigned in September after his congressional testimony.

Even before Solyndra received the Energy Department’s loan backing, White House officials knew about the solar panel maker, according to an email Mr. Kaiser wrote to Mr. Mitchell on March 5.

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