When Al Franken questioned Jeff Sessions at his January confirmation hearing, nothing about their exchange suggested Franken was laying a trap — or had any inkling that what ensued would prove so explosive.
A Minnesota Democrat, Franken is known as one of the most liberal members of the Senate; Sessions, an Alabama Republican nominated as attorney general, was a staunch Senate conservative. Yet, the exchange was cordial. Reading from a CNN story published moments before, Franken referred to a “dossier” citing unnamed sources claiming that Russia had compromising personal information on Donald Trump. Still reading from the CNN piece, Franken noted that it described “a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.”