Grassley Calls Out Franken for a Gotcha Question to Sessions
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R. Iowa) got in a heated exchange with Sen. Al Franken (D. Minn.) on Tuesday during a confirmation hearing for Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein to become deputy attorney general.
Franken confronted Rosenstein over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ two undisclosed meetings last year with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. asking if he will prosecute any potential illicit contact between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian officials.
After Franken and Rosenstein discussed the issue, Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he believes Franken asked a “gotcha question” to Sessions during his own confirmation hearing.
“I consider what Sen. Franken asked Sessions at that late moment, that that story had just come out, as a gotcha question,” Grassley said. He described how Franken had new information that Sessions was not aware of when he asked his question late in the hearing, arguing that the former Alabama lawmaker was not fairly prepared to answer.
Franken countered the Iowa senator, telling him to “look at the tape, Mr. Chairman.”
In January, Franken asked Sessions during his confirmation hearing for attorney general about communications between Trump associates and Russian officials. Sessions responded that he personally had not met with the Russians as a Trump campaign surrogate.
The Washington Post reported last week that Sessions met Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on two separate occasions last year as a senator. Sessions did not disclose the meetings during his confirmation hearing.
Sessions’ spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores, said there was nothing “misleading about his answer” to Congress because he “was asked during the [confirmation] hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign–not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee.”
Sessions has since recused himself from any investigations relating to the 2016 presidential campaign.
Nick Bolger Email Nick | Full Bio | RSS
Nick Bolger is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He is from southern Michigan. Nick graduated from Miami University with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science in 2015.
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