Notes Show Bentley Wanted to Appoint New AG

Sep 20, 2017

Former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (L) and U.S. Senator Luther Strange (R)

When the scandal-plagued former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley appointed his then-attorney general Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate, Bentley apparently considered it a good thing that he would get to name a new attorney general.

That’s according to Bentley’s handwritten notes from the time, archived and obtained by the Associated Press. Strange's appointment to fill Sen. Jeff Sessions' seat came as Bentley faced an impeachment investigation by state lawmakers for the fallout of an alleged affair with a staffer. Strange had asked for a pause in the impeachment investigation so his office could do "related work”.

Bentley's notes from interviews for the Senate job show that he carefully considered what he called the "trickle-down effect," and observed that he would get to name Alabama's next attorney general if he appointed Strange. Bentley ranked Strange highly in all categories.

Strange has said he and Bentley never discussed the investigation. He calls criticisms of his appointment to the Senate unmerited and says he opened the investigation that eventually led to Bentley resigning and taking a plea deal.

Those handwritten notes are now in the state archives.