Published May 02, 2016
The Hillary Clinton email mystery took yet another confusing turn Tuesday with accusations from Republicans that the former secretary of state "misled" the public about her email practices, by using multiple "secret" addresses despite claims to the contrary.
However, a spokesman with the House committee probing the 2012 Benghazi attack, and Clinton's handling of it, would not go so far. Rather, he told FoxNews.com the confusion only further underscores the need to subject Clinton's private server to a third-party analysis, saying that's the only way to resolve this.
The questions over multiple Clinton addresses were raised after emails were published as part of a lengthy New York Times report on Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal's memos on Libya before and after the fall of Muammar Qaddafi. The emails show Clinton writing from the address, email@example.com. This is distinct from the other address she has acknowledged using as secretary of state, firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Hillary Clinton misled public about the use of only one secret email address," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted in reference to the documents, while promoting an RNC memo outlining the alleged discrepancies.
This, however, is not the first time the 'hrod17' address has turned up. The House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks earlier this year said it had records showing "two separate and distinct email addresses" from Clinton, and requested documents from both the 'hrod17' and 'hdr22' accounts.
At the time, Clinton's lawyer and office attributed the appearance of two email addresses to a simple mix-up.
They maintained Clinton only used "one email account" as secretary of state, and that the 'hrod17' account did not exist during her tenure. They said she only launched that account in early 2013, after her prior address was published online.
As for why both email addresses were turning up in records, her office explained that the new email address (the 'hrod17' account) happened to show up on printed copies of old documents because it was the same account -- but it did not exist at the time.
FoxNews.com has reached out to Clinton's office asking if the emails published by The New York Times reflect a similar situation.
However, the spokesman for the Benghazi committee told FoxNews.com it's simply not clear whether the multiple emails reflect a glitch -- or prove Clinton really was using two email addresses, contrary to what her office claims. Spokesman Jamal Ware said in an email they need a neutral, third-party arbiter to investigate.
"There's only one way to know that for certain," Ware said in an email. "For Clinton to turn over the server for independent analysis."
Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate for 2016, so far has resisted doing so. But, taking the rare step Tuesday of answering reporter questions while on the campaign trail, Clinton said during a stop in Iowa that she wants the State Department to do all it can to expedite the release of her emails during her tenure as secretary.
"I have said repeatedly I want those emails out," Clinton said.
Ware also referred FoxNews.com to a March 4 statement in which the Benghazi committee first revealed they had records with two distinct Clinton email addresses. At the time, the committee likewise said they need someone to have access to the server to determine why those two email addresses show up.
Amid the tug-of-war over the server, the State Department did propose, in connection with a separate court case, that they release part of the 55,000 pages of Clinton emails by January. A federal judge on Tuesday, though, rejected that plan and ordered the department to come up with a schedule by next week for releasing the emails on a rolling basis. A State Department spokesman said they would comply.
The New York Times story, meanwhile, covered much more than the existence of two email accounts. It detailed how Blumenthal sent multiple memos to Clinton during her State Department years on the situation in Libya, while he was advising business associates seeking contracts from Libya's transitional government.
The venture reportedly was not successful. And it's ultimately unclear what, if anything, Clinton and the State Department knew of Blumenthal's involvement in any potential Libya projects.
Asked about the report on Tuesday, Clinton said she has "many old friends," and it's important to get "outside the bubble" to hear advice from other people. "I'm going to keep talking to friends," she said.
FoxNews.com's Judson Berger contributed to this report.