Sen. John McCain addressed his bizarre questioning of former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday, saying in a statement that “maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games.”
The Arizona Republican confused reporters during Comey’s hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, when he seemed to conflate the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the US election with an unrelated probe into Hillary Clinton’s email practices.
“I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning went over people’s heads,” McCain said in a statement emailed to reporters. “Maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games.”
The baseball team, which is based in McCain’s home state, played the San Diego Padres on Wednesday in a game that ended well past 1 a.m. ET.
McCain then explained the point he was trying to make to Comey:
“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.
“While I missed an opportunity in today’s hearing, I still believe this question is important, and I intent to submit it in writing to Mr. Comey for the record.”
The Diamondbacks’ Twitter account acknowledged McCain’s statement with a shrug emoticon.
During McCain’s questioning, which was at times rambling and incoherent, the senator pressed Comey on a possible “double standard” in how the FBI handled the Clinton and Russia probe, but seemed to consider them one singular investigation.
“Both President Trump and former candidate Clinton are both involved in the investigation, yet one of them you said there would be no charges and the other one you say the investigation continues,” McCain said to Comey. “Well, I think there’s a double standard there to tell you the truth.”