Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was reportedly contacted by the FBI about a pair of classified emails found among his personal records.
Powell, a Republican appointee, told Politico Thursday he had been visited by two FBI agents late last year for a "casual" discussion of his email practices.
The former chief diplomat disputed an inspector general's findings that two emails sent from "state.gov" accounts to his personal inbox should have been classified as "confidential," the lowest level of classification in government.
David Bossie, president of Citizens United, questioned why Powell would be contacted by the FBI when Hillary Clinton, who transmitted more than 1,600 classified emails on a private network, was not.
"Hillary Clinton has recently said she has not been contacted by the FBI. Now we know Colin Powell has been contacted by the FBI," Bossie told the Washington Examiner. "This only makes sense if Hillary Clinton is the target of the investigation — in which case she would be contacted last."
The State Department announced last week that 22 of Clinton's private emails have been upgraded to "top secret." Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, told the Examiner on Wednesday that seven additional emails have been deemed "top secret" as well.
"The FBI is conducting a thorough investigation and I assume they are working their way to the target — Secretary Clinton," Bossie said.
The FBI has not said whether Clinton is the target of its investigation, but Clinton has maintained she is not the law enforcement agency's focus.
Her campaign quickly seized on the news that Powell may have handled classified material outside secure channels, touting it as evidence that the government has a tendency to over-classify information.
However, Powell drew distinctions between his occasional use of a commercial email account when his official account was running slowly and Clinton's exclusive use of a private email network run out of her home on a personal server.
Jeff Bechdel, spokesman for the Republican group America Rising, also expressed skepticism over the idea that the FBI interviewed Powell but not Clinton.
"The fact remains Secretary Clinton is the only cabinet official to ever house and maintain a private server in her basement that contained all of her work and personal emails," Bechdel said. "The security of that server and the risk it posed to national security is at the heart of the FBI's ongoing investigation — not 12-year-old emails sent to secretaries of past administrations."
The two classified emails in Powell's private inbox were revealed as part of an inspector general probe into the State Department's past record-keeping practices, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said Thursday in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.