State Department says it has no signed OF-109 from Clinton

The State Department says it has no record of a “separation statement” from Hillary Clinton. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, “we have reviewed Secretary Clinton’s official personal file and administrative files and do not have any record of her signing any of the 0F-109.”

The OF-109 form requires all departing personnel to certify, if they can, that they have “surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents, and papers relating to the official business of the Government acquired by me while in the employ of the Department.” As we discussed here, if Clinton signed such a statement, she committed perjury because it is undisputed that she did not surrender all of her papers relating to official business when she stepped down as Secretary of State.

I find it very plausible to believe that Clinton never executed OF-109. First, she views herself as above the rules — always has — and very likely would opt not to sign a form the execution of which would have made her guilty of perjury, assuming she was presented with the form. Second, it’s easy to imagine a departing Secretary of State not even being presented with OF-109 by the Department’s personnel office (or whichever shop handles “exit interviews”).

In this regard, Psaki said that the Department could find no OF-109 from Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, either. If neither signed such a form, it will be difficult to attack Clinton for not having done so. (She can still be attacked for (a) not using the State Department’s email system at all, (b) not turning over emails when she left State, and (c) destroying up to half of her emails).

We have only the State Department’s word for what its records contain. But the Department’s word will stand (and should) absent evidence to the contrary.