The Corner

Politics & Policy

A Strange New Senator in Alabama

It’s official: Alabama’s state attorney general, Luther Strange, is his state’s interim senator. He will replace Jeff Sessions, who resigned last night.

Governor Robert Bentley announced his selection this morning. Strange had already publicly announced he intended to run for the seat in 2018 if he was not selected. He had been the state’s attorney general since 2011. In that role, he served as the court-appointed “Coordinating Counsel for the Gulf Coast States” in the historic Deepwater Horizon oil-spill litigation.

The other odd wrinkle here is that there was some evidence that Strange was investigating the governor.

Bentley is under investigation by the Alabama House Judiciary Committee over impeachment articles approved by the House. The articles accuse the governor of neglect of duty and corruption in office. The charges appear to stem from allegations that Bentley used his office and state resources to further an extramarital relationship with his former top political adviser Rebekah Mason.

The judiciary committee halted its probe of Bentley – at least for now – after it received a letter from Strange in early November. The attorney general’s letter said it would be “prudent and beneficial” for the House committee to delay its work.

Strange asked the committee to cease interviews and the active investigation, “until I am able to report to you that the necessary related work of my office has been completed.”

The letter doesn’t specifically say if the AG’s office is investigating Bentley.

The state attorney general’s office may continue its work, but Strange has a date with the U.S. Senate.

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