The appearance of a major conflict of interest, and of at least fudging the terms of what could be a criminal investigation, continues to haunt newly appointed U.S. Sen. Luther Strange and, more importantly, the image of the state of Alabama.
Mobile reporter Eddie Curran reports here for the American Media Institute.
I was interviewed on it by WPMI here.
And the New York Times ran this on Sunday. Excerpts:
A startling number of people in and around the State House openly suspect, but lack evidence to prove, that part of Mr. Bentley’s reason for appointing Mr. Strange to the Senate was to try to undermine the inquiry….
Mr. Strange, a former lobbyist widely regarded as ambitious and long seen as the future of Republican politics in Alabama, attended some of the grand jury testimony. Then Mr. Bentley, in his second and final term, chose Mr. Strange as Mr. Sessions’s replacement in the Senate and scheduled a special election for 2018.
When his appointment was announced, Mr. Strange, 63, said the rampant speculation about an inquiry involving the governor was “unfair to him and unfair to the process.” He also said, in a remark that has since been parsed, analyzed and criticized, “We have never said in our office that we are investigating the governor.”
Less than a week later, the man Mr. Bentley chose to succeed Mr. Strange as attorney general, Steven T. Marshall, appointed Alabama’s equivalent of a special prosecutor and asked her to “assume oversight of the state’s interest in the current investigative matter relating to Gov. Robert Bentley, to include all potential criminal matters arising from that investigation.”