03/03/2015 5:55 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Hillary Clinton Used Only Her Personal Email Account As U.S. Secretary Of State

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SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a keynote address during the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women on February 24, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a keynote address to thousands of women in attendance for the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hillary Rodham Clinton only used a personal email account for government business during her four-year tenure

as secretary of state, and she may have violated federal regulations, The New York Times reported.

NYT reported the Clinton did not have a government account, and her use of the private account has alarmed

current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

Under U.S. federal law, letters and emails written and received by federal officials are considered government records. Only official government email accounts are preserved for public record which can be accessed by congressional committees, historians and journalists.

Clinton's aides did not preserve her personal emails on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act. Two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, 55,000 pages of emails were submitted.

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

“I can recall no instance in my time at the National Archives when a high-ranking official at an executive branch agency solely used a personal email account for the transaction of government business,” Mr. Baron, who worked at the agency from 2000 to 2013, told NYT.

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, said that she has been complying with the “letter and spirit of the rules.”