In a sad display of utter confusion, Senator John McCain made a fool of himself in questioning former FBI Director James Comey.
McCain was apparently unable to understand that the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server was separate from and unrelated to the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election.
Conflating the two investigations, McCain falsely accused Comey of using a double standard by exonerating Clinton from criminal charges while not exonerating Trump.
Comey, to his great credit, responded to McCain’s confusion respectfully, without a hint of annoyance or condescension.
Comey did his best to enlighten McCain, to no avail. Comey explained that his announcement that he would not seek charges against Hillary Clinton came only after a year-long investigation into her use of emails had been completed and closed. The investigation into Russian interference, by contrast, is ongoing. Moreover, since Comey is no longer the Director of the FBI, and the Russia investigation has been taken over by the Special Counsel, he would have no way of knowing what conclusions that investigation might reach.
None of this seemed to get through to McCain, who kept insisting that Comey had exonerated Hillary Clinton in the Russia investigation, but not Trump. Double standard!
Of course, none of this is connected to reality. Comey never exonerated Clinton regarding the Russia investigation, as McCain seems to believe.
Why would he? Clinton has little if anything to do with the investigation into Russian interference. Why in the world would Hillary Clinton collude with the Russians to help Donald Trump get elected? The whole idea is ludicrous.
There is no double standard, except perhaps in the fog of McCain’s confused mind.
Poor McCain. Maybe it’s time to go back to Arizona.
Philip Rotner is an attorney and an engaged citizen who has spent over 40 years practicing law. His views are his own and do not reflect the views of any organization with which he has been associated. Follow him on Twitter at @PhilipRotner.