The State Department’s spokeswoman dodged and ducked Thursday when she was asked if Hillary Clinton had signed routine document-preservation paperwork when she left the agency.
The paperwork requires departing employees to say they have “surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents” relating to their work.
If Clinton didn’t sign the document, she’ll have provided another legal stick to her critics who say she corruptly mixed government and private business while serving as secretary of state.
“Secretary Clinton like all officials here in this building when they depart or separate from office has to sign something called a Form OF-109,” a reporter asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki Thursday. “It’s a separation statement declaring that when you leave office you’re turning in over not just classified materials but any documents for official purposes. Did she sign it?”
“I think this has been asked,” Psaki responded. “It was more than two years ago.”
“I don’t have an update on that specific question at this point,” she said.
The spokeswoman also admitted Clinton used her own personal Blackberry phone instead of the government-supplied, security-enhanced Blackberry required by 2005 and 2011 regulations.
“She had a personal device,” Psaki said.
“I can’t speak to what was done on that personal device and what was not. That’s a question I would pose to her personal team.”
That violation of computer-security rules also creates a problem for Clinton, especially because its raises the possibility that top White House officials ignored protests from government computer-security experts about Clinton’s use of her private unshielded phone during trips to China, Russia and other risky places.
The use of private phones for government business is barred by State Department rules, partly because some foreign governments employ hackers to penetrate official U.S. networks.
Clinton is facing growing criticism for her decision to not use government email networks during her years as secretary of state.
Instead, she sent official communications via the same private networks that she used for personal communications with friends.
This week, Clinton said she had sent copies of all her government-related emails to the State Department following GOP requests.
The copies were paper printouts.
Clinton’s use of private networks has spurred charges that she exposed government secrets to foreign spies and mixed her private and government business in a potentially corrupt practice.
Clinton argues that she has handed over all government-related emails to the State Department.
But she also said she deleted all other emails.
She also says she will not transfer her server device — which usually stores emails — to government experts so they can ensure that all government-related emails have been handed over.