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Grassley, Franken spar over ‘gotcha’ question to Sessions

Grassley accused Franken of asking a “gotcha” question during Sessions’ confirmation hearing in January. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

 

March 07, 2017

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., sparred on Tuesday over questions Franken asked Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions in January that led to his controversial remark that he had not met with any Russian officials.

Grassley accused Franken of asking a “gotcha” question during Sessions’ confirmation hearing in January.

“I consider what Sen. Franken asked Sessions at that late moment, that that story had just come out, as a gotcha question,” Grassley said.

“It was not a gotcha question, sir,” Franken fired back.

“It was, from the standpoint — he didn’t know what you were asking about,” replied Grassley before slamming his gavel down.

Grassley called on Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., in an attempt to move on before Franken interrupted, “Look at the tape.”

The battle happened at the confirmation hearing for Rod Rosenstein to become deputy attorney general. If confirmed, Rosenstein would oversee an investigation of links between the Trump administration and the Russian government, since Sessions recused himself from working on those issues last week.

Sessions’ recusal came after it was found he met twice with the Russian ambassador last year, but did not tell Franken and the rest of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January.Sessions’ recusal came after it was found he met twice with the Russian ambassador last year, but did not tell Franken and the rest of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January.