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 previous year (though it was reopened briefly in October, just before the USA presidential election).
McCainasked how the FBI could be done with that investigation, but not finished with the Russian Federation investigation - to which Comey tried to remind him that they were independent and unconnected investigations.
Lynch and FBI Director James B. Comey at a news conference at the Department of Justice on March 24, 2016. Yet at the same time in the case or Mr. Comey, you said that there was not enough information to make a conclusion. Her political campaign frequently referred to the FBI's investigation as a "security review" and said the issue was overblown.
Then there was John McCain, who decided that this was the moment to break out his best Grandpa Simpson impression.
McCain continued to press the point asking again how one investigation could be closed, while another remained open.
Comey answered that the Clinton email investigation was a completed, closed investigation at the time he announced that "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring a case against her last July, while the Russian Federation investigation is still underway and could be for some time.
McCain on more than one occasion mixed up Comey's name with that of United States president Donald Trump, and seemed to have difficulty keeping straight the status of different Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiries, including one into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election and one into former Trump opponent Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. "That I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department". Lynch had said they didn't discuss the email probe. "Calling for the appointment of special counsel would be brutally unfair and would send the message there's something here".
It's hard to say, but McCain seemed to be trying to blunt the effect of Comey'stestimony about President Trump.