Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is strongly leaning toward picking the state’s attorney general to replace U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions after his confirmation Wednesday to become United States Attorney General, according to three Republican operatives with direct knowledge of the plans. The operatives all cautioned, however, that the mercurial governor hasn’t formally picked Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to replace Sessions, and Bentley could change his mind. … One possible advantage of appointing Strange, this operative said, is that Bentley — who has been implicated in a tawdry sex scandal and was under an impeachment investigation by the state legislature — gets to appoint a new attorney general who might be less inclined to prosecute him.
Strange’s office in November had asked the state legislature to suspend its investigation until his office finished a pending investigation. Strange has not said whether Bentley was the focus of his office’s inquiry, but his office in July empaneled a grand jury, which has called Bentley as a witness.
“Luther is screwed either way,” the source said. “If he gets the job, it looks like he cut a deal. And if he doesn’t, it looks like he’s prosecuting Bentley out of revenge.”