Those defending Sessions keep focusing on, and blaming, the question from Franken. They ignore that Franken simply did not ask Sessions if he had communicated with the Russians. Franken’s question was not about what Sessions did at all. Franken’s question was a hypothetical, asking Sessions what he would do as Attorney General, if he discovered members of Trump’s campaign had been in contact with the Russians.
Sessions dodged that question by volunteering that he “did not have communications with the Russians.” That is a blanket statement and patently false. It was not a statement required by or remotely suggested by the question. He dodged the question only to step into the minefield of perjury.
Had Sessions stated it properly, that he had discussions with Russians but not about anything to do with the campaign, that would have prompted additional questions about what was discussed and the circumstances of those meetings. Sessions did not want to get into any of that so he just lied by claiming he never talked with Russians.