03:51 GMT17 June 2021
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    Did lack of sleep lead John McCain to refer to fired FBI Director James Comey as “President Comey?” We may never know. But hopefully the 80-year-old lawmaker at least enjoyed the Arizona Diamondbacks’ late-night 7-4 victory over the San Diego Padres, because missing those zzzs seems to have cost him.

    The highlight of Comey’s must-see TV, event-of-the-season Congressional testimony? Senator John McCain’s cryptic line of inquiry, according to Twitter analytics.

    ​McCain asked why Comey had announced during the summer of 2016 that then-Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was no longer under investigation, and that the case was not something any “reasonable prosecutor” would pursue further. 

    Naturally, Comey, on Capitol Hill to discuss his knowledge of alleged Trump interference into the investigation of alleged Russian election meddling, responded that Clinton’s case was indeed concluded at the time, allowing him to comment on the results of the probe.

    McCain then urged Comey to provide a similar statement regarding Trump’s potential ties with Russian agents. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the FBI and other law enforcement bodies, such as the Justice Department’s Special Counselor Robert Mueller, are still actively pursuing the investigation. Of course a former FBI director can’t make a statement about an investigation that (one) he is no longer a part of, and (two) is still underway. 

    McCain couldn’t piece this together.

    “That investigation was going on. This investigation was going on. You reached separate conclusions,” McCain stated. 

    “I think it's hard to reconcile, in one case you reach a complete conclusion, and on the other side you have not,” McCain said. “I think that's a double standard there, to tell you the truth.”

    Comey elaborated, for the third time, that the separate, unrelated probe into Clinton’s use of private email servers containing classified materials is complete and has been since July of last year (though it was reopened briefly in October, just before the US presidential election).

    Following (confused and amused) uproar on Twitter, McCain said “Maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games.”

    ​One netizen stated plainly that McCain’s performance was “sad,” as he “can’t distinguish between the Clinton email investigation and Trump/Russia investigation.”

    ​Following the awkward exchange, McCain doubled down: “I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning today went over people’s heads.”

    The statement from the McCain camp went on to say: “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.”

    “I missed an opportunity in today’s hearing,” the veteran noted.


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