EXCERPTS: Mrs. Sandberg's top Republican target was Mr. Burr, whose Senate committee’s Russia investigation had chugged along. The two spoke by phone, according to a congressional staff member and a Facebook executive, and met in person this fall. While critics cast Facebook as a serial offender that had ignored repeated warning signs about the dangers posed by its product, Ms. Sandberg argued that the company was grappling earnestly with the consequences of its extraordinary growth.
Facebook lobbyists had already worked the Intelligence Committee hard, asking that lawmakers refrain from questioning Ms. Sandberg about privacy issues, Cambridge Analytica and censorship. The argument was persuasive with Mr. Burr, who was determined to avoid a circuslike atmosphere. A day before the hearing, he issued a stern warning to all committee members to stick to the topic of election interference.