Tags: Hillary Clinton | James Baker | State Department | Hillary Clinton | exit form

James Baker: I Signed State Department Exit Form

Image: James Baker: I Signed State Department Exit Form
Former Secretary of State James Baker. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 20 Mar 2015 04:37 PM

Former Secretary of State James Baker said Friday that he did sign a separation form, officially known as OF-109, when he left the State Department 23 years ago.

The National Review quoted a Baker spokesman who said his boss had signed the form on Aug. 24, 1992, the day he exited State to serve as White House chief of staff under President George H.W. Bush.

The form requires outgoing officials to declare that they have turned over all official records before they leave the department. Employees are required to sign the form "when "terminating employment" or when they are "otherwise to be separated" from the State Department "for a continuous period of 60 days or more," National Review observed.

Baker's testimony raises questions about the accuracy of the explanation offered by State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki as to why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may not have signed that form when she left the department.

Psaki said the department's most senior employees often do not sign the separation statement verifying the return of their documents because of "a long tradition of secretaries of state making themselves available to future secretaries and presidents, and secretaries are typically allowed to maintain their security clearance and access to their own records for use in writing their memoirs and the like."

Because of this history, "this is not a form that many would have signed," Psaki said.

But Baker, who retained his security clearance at the White House, "clearly falls into the camp of former secretaries described by Psaki," National Review observed.

Baker's practice on leaving the State Department contradicts the explanation offered by Psaki.

Republican lawmakers have emphasized the importance of the form, saying that Clinton would have lied if she signed it because she was keeping official work-related emails on her personal server.

If, on the other hand, she failed to sign the form on leaving office, her critics say this shows she was given special treatment by being exempted from a policy that is supposed to apply to all State Department employees.

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Former Secretary of State James Baker said Friday that he did sign a separation form, officially known as OF-109, when he left the State Department 23 years ago.
James Baker, State Department, Hillary Clinton, exit form
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2015-37-20
Friday, 20 Mar 2015 04:37 PM
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