In the first installment of eight planned releases, the State Department published 3,000 pages of correspondence on Tuesday from “firstname.lastname@example.org,” the personal account Hillary Clinton used to conduct government business.
Messages from 2009 show that she also received but did not send email through another address — which a spokesman described as Clinton’s previous account, set to forward mail automatically to the address she used as secretary of state.
The second address, "email@example.com," is the account Clinton used as a U.S. senator, according to Nick Merrill, a spokesperson with her presidential campaign.
When she moved from the Senate to the State Department at the start of 2009, Clinton continued using the AT&T account for about two months. On March 18 of that year, she opened the "clintonemail.com" address — and the Senate account was set up as a forwarding address until the fall of 2009, Merrill said.
The cache of emails released on Tuesday includes correspondence from 2009. But future email releases, according to the State Department, may include additional messages from that year.
The available emails show that, for about six months, Clinton received messages sent to the old account — but responded from "firstname.lastname@example.org." The last instance, in this release, of an email from the AT&T address was Sept. 20, 2009.
The "email@example.com" account was shut off around that time. Clinton, as aides said earlier this year, no longer has access to those messages.
When the existence of the "clintonemail.com" address came to light this spring — setting off questions about whether the use of a personal account, as a cabinet official, was secure or sound — Clinton asked the State Department to publish her work-related correspondence.
“I want the public to see my email,” she wrote on Twitter.
Clinton had already sent the State Department her email — months earlier, in December 2014 — in response to a request that former secretaries submit their official correspondence for record-keeping. After a review process conducted by Clinton's attorneys to identify, remove, and ultimately delete, any messages deemed strictly "personal," aides submitted printed copies of 30,490 messages.
Republicans and open government advocates have argued that the public has no assurance, beyond Clinton's word, that she didn't omit emails that belong in the public record — or communicate through some other undisclosed account.
Earlier this year, when the State Department posted a preliminary batch of emails — about 300 related to Libya and the terrorist attack in Benghazi — it was later discovered that the set did not include 15 emails, or portions of those emails, sent to or from Sidney Blumenthal, a friend and outside adviser to Clinton.
The possibility of multiple accounts has been raised in particular this year by Trey Gowdy, the Republican congressman who, in his role as chairman of a House investigation into Benghazi, has demanded Clinton turn over her email server.
Gowdy pointed to another distinct email address — "firstname.lastname@example.org" — that appears at the top of the documents Clinton has disclosed.
Merrill, the Clinton spokesman, has said the address was not registered until March 2013, one month after her departure from the administration. (Clinton was using the new account last year when she submitted her records — and the address "only appeared "on the copies as the ‘sender,’" Merrill said earlier this year.)
Aides have maintained since spring that Clinton — now almost three months into her campaign for president — only used one account as secretary of state.
Merrill also said on Tuesday that Clinton only used the "email@example.com" as a senator. (The release on Tuesday also includes messages showing the address, "firstname.lastname@example.org," which is the same account, according to Merrill. AT&T and Cingular merged in the mid-2000s.)
In most messages from Clinton, her name is displayed as simply "H."
Several of the emails from the AT&T account show Clinton as "Senator." And in others, the "email@example.com" appears in the recipient line as "H2."
The batch of emails, posted online Tuesday, amounts to about 7% of the total records due for release. For months, officials have been preparing to incrementally publish the 52,455 pages of email, spanning the four years of Clinton's tenure.
The last installment is scheduled for Jan. 29, 2016 — a goal set by court ruling.
"We’re glad to see the first batch of emails get released today," Merrill said in a statement. "Months ago, Hillary Clinton took the unprecedented step of asking that the 55,000 pages of her work emails be released into the public domain, and this is the beginning of that process. She’s proud of her record as secretary of state, and happy that the public has a window into her tenure."