Hillary Clinton may have broken federal rules by only using a personal email account during her time as U.S. secretary of state. File photo by Spencer Platt/Pool | License Photo
WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) -- Hillary Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct official business while serving as U.S. secretary of state, the State Department confirmed Monday.
In doing so, Clinton may have broken federal record-keeping regulations that require officials to archive their correspondence, as The New York Times first reported Monday.
The Federal Records Act requires public officials to retain their government records -- emails, letters and other readable documents -- so that they can be easily accessed in the future.
The State Department acknowledged that Clinton's aides handed over 55,000 pages of emails two months ago, as part of a renewed effort to preserve documentation.
"Last year, the Department sent a letter to representatives of former secretaries of state requesting they submit any records in their possession for proper preservation," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. "In response to our request, Secretary Clinton provided the Department with emails spanning her time at the Department."
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told The Times that the former secretary of state complied with the "letter and spirit of the rules."
Merrill said that when Clinton sent emails to other government officials, she had "every expectation" that those would be archived. But as The Times pointed out, this does not account for her correspondence with foreign officials.
Officials are allowed to use personal email accounts for official business, but those emails must be forwarded to a government account.
Clinton, who is widely said to be considering a 2016 run for president, served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a likely Republican contender for the 2016 presidential election, criticized Clinton's personal email use on Twitter.
"Transparency matters. Unclassified @HillaryClinton emails should be released," he tweeted.