The State Department has “no record” that former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton signed a form certifying that she had returned all department paperwork when she left her job, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
Psaki said department officials are “fairly certain” that Clinton did not fill out the OF-109 form, a standard document certifying that departing employees have “surrendered to responsible officials” any classified and unclassified documents and other work-related material.
The form is at issue because of the revelation this month that Clinton maintained a private e-mail system separate from government e-mail systems, and did not turn over communications to and from that account until more than a year after she left office in early 2013. Clinton is expected to launch her bid for the 2016 presidential race as early as next month.
Republicans have seized on the form as an example of Clinton’s allegedly cavalier attitude toward transparency and regulations.
“With her exclusive use of private email from a server in her own home, it’s easy to see why Clinton didn’t bother to sign the form,” Raj Shah, research director at the Republican National Committee, said in a statement Tuesday. “And it’s the latest example of how the Clintons believe the rules apply to everyone but them.”
At a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) called on Clinton to turn over her private e-mail server to a neutral third party to decide which of her e-mails should be public record.
“I think this is the fairest way to make sure that we have all the facts that belong to the public,” Boehner said.
Clinton said at a news conference last week that she did not conduct any classified business using the Clintonemail.com address, but that she used it for both business and personal communications. Her office handed over about 30,000 e-mails last year when the State Department asked former secretaries for copies of any communications they had.
Clinton said the e-mails she turned over were work-related, and her office has said that most were between Clinton and State Department employees who used standard government e-mail addresses. Clinton said last week that she had deleted roughly half the cache, or about 30,000 e-mails, that she deemed personal.
The OF-109 form is part of a packet of paperwork employees routinely fill out when leaving the department, but Psaki said it does not appear that Clinton or at least two of her predecessors, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, ever did so.
The uproar over the e-mails comes ahead of Clinton’s expected launch of an exploratory committee next month, followed by a formal entry into the presidential race later in the spring.
Until then, she has been rapidly signing up new staffers for the effort, including naming Brian Fallon as her lead press secretary. Fallon, currently the top spokesman for the Justice Department, told his staff Tuesday that he would be leaving at the end of March.
Fallon was formerly the top spokesman for Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and is part of an emerging Clinton press team known for relatively good relations with the news media. That stands in contrast to the sometimes-toxic relations that developed between the 2008 Clinton campaign and reporters covering her that year.