Conservative Media's Double Standard For Former Secretaries Of State On Separation Statements
Research ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN
Conservative media fabricated perjury charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, demanding to see a copy of a separation form they argued she violated through her use of her personal email. Those same media figures did not demand to see the same form from Colin Powell -- whom State Department officials say did not sign the same form.
Conservative Media Make It Up: Claim Separation Statement Shows Clinton May Have Committed Perjury Over Email
Fox's Steve Doocy: "Essentially [Clinton] Would Be Committing Perjury" If She Had Signed OF-109 Form. Speaking about whether Clinton had signed the OF-109 form upon leaving the State Department on the March 17 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy alleged that if she had signed the form "essentially [Clinton] would be committing perjury." Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck agreed, adding that "she either signed it and hasn't turned over the documents, which is a crime, or she was given special treatment." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/17/15]
Fox's Megyn Kelly: Clinton May Have Committed A Felony By Violating Form OF-109. On the March 11 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly alleged that Hillary Clinton may have broken the law had she signed the OF-109 form upon leaving the State Department and not immediately turned over her emails. Interviewing Shannen Coffin, former legal counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney, Kelly asked, "Did [Clinton] commit a crime?" [Fox News, The Kelly File, 3/11/15]
Fox's Lis Wiehl: "You're Looking At An Offense" If Clinton Signed Form And Didn't Hand Over Emails. During the March 13 edition of Fox News' The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly interviewed Fox legal analyst Lis Wiehl about a Freedom of Information Act request the program had made requesting Clinton's OF-109 form. Wiehl claimed that if the State Department had the document, "then she must have signed it. If she signed it and did not turn over that information that she was required to do, then you're looking at an offense." [Fox News, The Kelly File, 3/13/15]
Fox's Napolitano: If Clinton Signed OF-109 Form, "She Probably Committed Perjury." Speaking to host Bret Baier on the March 12 edition of Special Report, Fox legal analyst Andrew Napolitano suggested that if Clinton did sign State Department entrance or exit forms, then "she probably committed perjury." [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 3/12/15]
National Review Online: "If Clinton Signed The Forms ... She May Have Committed A Felony." In a March 16 post, National Review Online claimed that whether or not Clinton signed the OF-109 documents was key to "understanding whether Clinton violated the law," and if she had, "she may have committed a felony." [National Review Online, 3/16/15]
Breitbart.com: Clinton "May Have Committed Perjury" If She Signed Separation Form. Breitbart.com claimed in a March 16 post that Clinton "may have committed perjury" if she had signed the OF-109 form while leaving the State Department. [Breitbart.com, 3/16/15]
The Daily Caller: Clinton's Signature "Could Open Her Up To Perjury Charges." In a March 16 post, The Daily Caller speculated that had Clinton signed a separation form when leaving the State Department, then the incident "could open her up to perjury charges since she did not turn any of her email records over to the State Department until December, nearly two years after leaving the agency." [The Daily Caller, 3/16/15]
But Powell -- Who Deleted All His Email -- Also Did Not Sign Statement
State Dept. Spokeswoman: No Record That Clinton Or Her Predecessors Signed Separation Statement Upon Leaving State Department. On March 17, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki explained in a press briefing that after looking through Clinton's documents at the State Department, they "do not have any record of her signing the OF-109," and in addition, "we did not locate any record of either of her immediate predecessors signing this form." [State Department Press Briefing, 3/17/15]
Colin Powell Admitted He Did Not Save Emails From Personal Account During Time As Secretary Of State. Speaking on ABC's This Week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the fact that he not only didn't use government email, but he also failed to save email records from his time at the State Department:
On ABC's "This Week," former Secretary of State Colin Powell declined to comment on the Clinton controversy, saying his emails as secretary were never disclosed because he did not save them.
"I don't have any to turn over," Powell said. "I did not keep a cache of them. I did not print them off. I do not have thousands of pages somewhere in my personal files. And, in fact, a lot of the emails that came out of my personal account went into the State Department system. They were addressed to State Department employees and the state.gov domain. But I don't know if the servers at the State Department captured those or not.
"They were all unclassified and most of them, I think, are pretty benign," Powell added. "So I'm not terribly concerned even if they were able to recover them." [Yahoo News, 3/8/15]