During the James Comey hearing today, John McCain delivered a somewhat incoherent line of questioning that left many people confused. After the hearing, McCain tried to explain himself, blaming the confusion on his late-night television habits.
McCain and Comey had an unwieldy, discombobulated dialogue in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The general thrust of McCain’s inquiry regarded McCain’s perception of a double standard in the FBI’s uneven prosecution of its respective Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump investigations. But the wording was clumsy, and many people were concerned for McCain.
In a statement today, McCain said of his Comey dialogue, “I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning today went over people’s heads. Maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games.”
“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. In the case of Secretary Clinton’s emails, Mr. 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.”
During the questioning, Comey declined to elaborate on the point, saying that it wasn’t his place to do so.
McCain intends to press the subject. “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,” said McCain.
In an interview with Time, again asked to clarify his point, McCain said, “I was saying that in the case of the investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s involvement, he examined it, said it was over, it was done. In the case of President Trump’s involvement, there’s more shoes to drop, more investigations. What’s the difference? It’s over the same issue. That was the question I was trying to get at. Obviously didn’t do it very well.”
McCain continued, “This is the classic scandal. It isn’t the same as Watergate, it isn’t the same as Iran-Contra, but it has the same earmarks, of a new revelation every few days.”
Hopefully McCain really was just foggy due to late-night baseball watching. In the future, hopefully he just DVR’s the games.