What difference at this point does it make?
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Hillary Clinton is a lawyer. What’s that? She is a lawyer? Oh, okay. That was easy!
To continue, the one thing lawyers understand better than most people is that unless something is in writing it will not count for much should disputes arise. Unless it’s in writing, we’ll be stuck with one of those “he said, she said” situations that get us nowhere, in court or anywhere else.
So, lawyers are fully aware what it means to sign a piece of paper agreeing to abide by whatever conditions are stated on that piece of paper. What it means is that failure to abide by the conditions agreed to can have serious legal consequences that may include fines, loss of license to practice law and, in extreme cases, jail time. Jail is the last place lawyers want to end up in. They may run into former clients.
Which brings me to the document presented to Hillary Clinton for signature upon separation from her position as Secretary of State, Standard Form 312 (SF-312).
The following are possible scenarios.
Scenario 1: Hillary Clinton was never asked to sign the SF-312. If so, the question is why an exception was made in her case on what is a routine administrative matter.
Scenario 2: Clinton was asked to sign, declined but was allowed to leave without signing the SF-312 on the promise she would return at a later date to sign, which she never did. If so, as above.
Scenario 3: Clinton did not sign the SF-312 while on State Department premises but took the form with her on the understanding she would sign it later and mail it in, but never did. If so, as above.
Scenario 4: Clinton did not sign the SF-312 but had an assistant sign for her and then initial. If so, we need to know who this assistant was and why an exception to normal procedure was allowed.
Scenario 5: Clinton signed the SF-312, it’s in her personnel file but the State Department has not yet started a search for it or its contents. Personnel files of former Secretaries of State are considered sensitive documents. Examination of their contents is restricted and disclosure must be approved by officials empowered to do so. Clinton’s SF-312 may or may not turn up, may or may not be released.
Scenario 6: Clinton signed the SF-312 but it is now more than two years since her separation from her position as Secretary of State on February 1, 2013, and the form has been destroyed along with her entire personnel file. Note that the New York Times published an article “exposing” Clinton’s use of personal email (allegedly) to conduct official government business on March 2, 2015, also outside the two-year window. Coincidence? If you think so, there’s a famous bridge up for sale, cheap.
My money is on Scenario 6. However, the State Department will take its sweet time admitting what happened to Clinton’s personnel file. Without a paper trail, we’re all back to “he said, she said.” And she’ll say, as before, “What difference at this point does it make?”
Frankly, I half expected her to bang her shoe on the podium during her UN press conference the other day, just like the fat bald-headed thug who ran the Soviet Union back in the 1950s, Nikita something-or-other.