State Dept. Still Can’t Find Crucial ‘Separation Form’ by Clinton
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly defended the legality of her actions to exclusively use a personal email address during her tenure as secretary of state, citing the 55,000 pages of emails she turned over to the State Department in December as evidence of her full compliance with the Federal Records Act.
However, Clinton may have violated another federal law because she turned over the documents to the Department only after leaving office. Last Thursday, a former Department of Justice lawyer in the Bush administration noted that Clinton, like all State Department employees, should have signed an OF-109 ‘separation document’ upon leaving office in 2013.
The separation form certifies that the signatory has turned over all classified and official documents during their time as a State official to the Department before leaving office, which Clinton did not do. On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that there were no updates on that matter because it had happened two years ago.
On Monday, the State Department still has no updates on Clinton’s separation form.
“I don’t have an update on this…I understand why you’re asking. We’re looking to get an answer,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, assuring that if Clinton had signed the form, the record would be kept by the Department.
The State Department has previously faced censure from multiple fronts on its handling of Clinton’s records as secretary of state. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) of the Benghazi Committee said that the Department did not disclose its knowledge of Clinton’s exclusive use of personal email to the committee until that information was imminently close to being reported in the news media.
The Associated Press filed a lawsuit against the State Department last week in an attempt to gain access to some of Clinton’s emails, citing her repeated failures to produce them upon requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. Gawker Media has also filed a Freedom of Information Act complaint against the State Department to gain access to the emails of one of Clinton’s aides.