State Department has no record of Clinton signing separation statement

SHARE State Department has no record of Clinton signing separation statement

WASHINGTON — The State Department said Tuesday it had no record of Hillary Clinton signing a statement attesting that she had turned over all unclassified documents related to official business when she left her post as secretary of state in 2013.

Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday that neither of Clinton’s two immediate predecessors, Colin Powell nor Condoleezza Rice, had signed such a statement either.

Psaki said there was no sign of such a statement in department files.

“We’re fairly certain she didn’t sign one,” Psaki told reporters.

She also said that different bureaus within the department had different rules relating to such statements that had the effect of making it optional for some employs to fill them out and turn them in. She could not identify the bureaus in which employees had such a choice.

Questions about whether Clinton signed such a document have swirled since the revelation of her use of a personal email account for government-related work. Republicans, among others, have said that the State Department, along with other federal agencies, generally requires outgoing employees to turn over job-related materials before leaving. That policy requires employees to sign the separation statements declaring they had “surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents” related to official business during their employment. Providing incorrect information on the form can be grounds for prosecution.

The Republican National Committee earlier Tuesday had submitted two Freedom of Information requests to the State Department seeking copies of the “separation statements” signed by Clinton and her top aides and related records.

The office of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement on Tuesday that it would be “a big problem if she signed that form like she was supposed to.” Others have said it would be equally troubling if Clinton did not sign the form because that would have meant she would was holding herself to a different standard than other employees.

MATTHEW LEE, AP Diplomatic Writer

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