The Mystery Of Hillary’s Second Email Account

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

New emails published by The New York Times on Monday raise questions over Hillary Clinton’s claims that she only used one email account during her tenure as secretary of state.

The report shows that Clinton sent emails to deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan on April 8, 2011, Jan. 5, 2012, and Aug. 28, 2012, from the address “hrod17@clintonemail.com.”

But as the Republican National Committee pointed out in a widely circulated memo, that email address is different than the now-infamous HDR22@clintonemail.com that Clinton was known to have used during her time at the State Department — which stretched from Jan. 21, 2009, to Feb. 1, 2013.


The apparent use of two email accounts undermines claims from Clinton’s office and her attorney, David Kendall, that the 2016 presidential candidate exclusively used the HDR22@clintonemail.com account.

“As explained in my March 4, 2015 e-mail to your Staff Director and certain others, “hrod17@clintonemail.com” is not an address that existed during Secretary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State,” Kendall wrote in a March 27 letter to Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the Benghazi Committee.

In December, Clinton and her team turned over 55,000 pages emails to the State Department. Of those, the agency turned 300 emails over to Gowdy’s committee.

In the letter, Kendall referenced a March 4 letter in which he claimed that the hrod17@clintonemail.com account did not exist until after Clinton left office.

“Secretary Clinton used one email account when corresponding with anyone, from Department officials to friends to family. A month after she left the Department, Gawker published her email address and so she changed the address on her account. At the time the emails were provided to the State Department last year this new address appeared on the copies as the ‘sender,’ and not the address she used as Secretary. This address on the account did not exist until March 2013, after her tenure as Secretary.”

The implication there is that when Clinton and her team printed the emails turned over last year in response to the State Department’s request, the “From/To” field listed hrod17@clintonemail.com even though she actually used HDR22@clintonemail.com. The emails published by The Times include messages from both addresses.


The Benghazi committee has maintained that it cannot determine whether that explanation is accurate.

“Without access to the relevant electronic information and stored data on the server—which was reportedly registered to her home—there is no way the Committee, or anyone else, can fully explain why the Committee uncovered two email addresses,” committee spokesman Jamal Ware said in a March 4 statement.

Bruce Webster, an information technology expert and partner at Ironwood Experts, says that the argument put forth by the Clinton camp “makes no sense.”

“In a typical email exchange/server, each address — not account name — is its own entity,” Webster told The Daily Caller.

“If I set up a new email address for myself,” Webster explained, “that will not magically go back and change all my old emails to that new address. They will all still be stored in an account with my original email address.”

Webster said that while servers hosted by Microsoft Exchange do let users move email from one account to another, “that is typically done en masse.” He also said that even if Clinton’s private email server was configured in a similar manner, it doesn’t explain why Clinton’s email printouts show two different addresses.

Kendall, who works for the Washington, D.C. firm Williams & Connolly, did not return a request for comment.

This article has been updated to include comments from Webster. 

Follow Chuck on Twitter