Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was quick to respond to his baffling slew of questions he aimed Thursday at former FBI Director James Comey.
‘I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning today went over people’s heads,’ McCain said in a statement after the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. ‘Maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games.’
McCain seemed to conflate the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, with the agency’s ongoing probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, thinking that Comey publicly had said that Clinton’s campaign wasn’t coordinating with Russia, but not giving President Trump the same benefit.
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Sen. John McCain’s (left) questions to former FBI Director James Comey (right) left many in the public scratching their heads
Even singer John Legend, a big Democratic supporter, expressed concern for Sen. John McCain, after the Arizona Republican’s performance at the Comey hearing Thursday
In reality, Comey had only publicly said that Clinton wouldn’t be prosecuted for mishandling classified material after using a private server during her tenure as secretary of state.
Journalists, even celebrities like John Legend, took to Twitter, asking if McCain was OK.
Comey tried stressing to McCain that the difference between the two investigations was that one had been completed, that of Clinton’s, and the other, of Trump’s associates, was still ongoing.
‘That investigation was going on, this investigation was going on. You reach separate conclusions,’ McCain said.
‘No, one was done,’ Comey replied.
McCain seemed to think the investigation that was concluded last July had to do with the Russians.
It didn’t, it involved Clinton’s use of a private email server to send classified information.
‘So, but at the same time, you made the announcement there would be no charges brought against then-Secretary Clinton for any activities involved in the Russia involvement in our engagement in our election,’ McCain put forth.
The Arizona senator went on to call it a ‘double standard,’ even though it wasn’t an apples-to-apples comparison.
‘We have not announced and there was no predication to announce an investigation of whether the Russians may have coordinated with Secretary Clinton’s campaign,’ Comey made clear.
After making his quip about Diamondbacks baseball – his team walloped the San Diego Padres 10 to 2 – McCain explained what was supposed to be the crux of his line of questioning.
‘What I was trying to get at was whether Mr. Comey believes that any of his interactions with the President rise to the level of obstruction of justice,’ McCain said.
McCain suggested that during the Clinton email case, Comey was ‘willing to step beyond his role as an investigator and state his belief about what “no reasonable prosecutor” would conclude about the evidence.’
‘I wanted Mr. Comey to apply the same approach to the key question surrounding his interactions with President Trump – whether or not the President’s conduct constitutes obstruction of justice,’ McCain continued.
‘While I missed an opportunity in today’s hearing, I still believe this question is important, and I intend to submit it in writing to Mr. Comey for the record,’ the senator added.