WASHINGTON ― It was April 2018, and longtime Rep. Pete Sessions could already tell he was in the race of his life.

The Texas Republican had represented parts of north Dallas for 21 years, but the suburban revolt against President was now threatening to end his congressional career. Hillary Clinton had beaten Trump in his district two years before, and Sessions was vulnerable.

So when the National Republican Congressional Committee contacted Sessions, asking if he wanted to attend a meet-and-greet fundraiser with the president and high-dollar donors at Mar-a-Lago, the answer was an easy yes. He needed all the help he could get. 

Sessions was the only congressman at the April 20, 2018, event, which featured Trump and

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