Senate

Senate swears in Strange as Sessions’s successor

Greg Nash

The Senate is officially getting a little stranger. 

Luther Strange, a former Alabama attorney general, was sworn in Thursday to succeed GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions.
 
Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), the longest-serving Republican senator, administered the oath to Strange on the Senate floor, with GOP leadership and Sessions looking on from the chamber. 
 
Vice President Mike Pence then took part in a mock swearing-in with Strange, jokingly asking if there was a “box to stand on” as he took photos next to the newly minted, six-foot-nine-inch senator. 
 
Strange’s swearing in comes on day after the Senate voted largely along party lines to confirm Sessions to be President Trump’s attorney general.
 
{mosads}Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) on Thursday praised Strange, whom he has known for 35 years, and pledged his home-state colleague will “hit the ground running.” 
 
“I believe this was a great appointment by our governor,” he said.
 
Strange is “going to be a team player. He’s going to work with us in the Republican caucus and work for what’s in the best interest of the state of Alabama and the nation.” 
 
There was speculation that Strange wouldn’t be picked for the seat because of ties to the governor. Strange told the state’s legislature in November to suspend an impeachment probe into Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), who’s been accused of misusing state funds and having an affair with a former aide. 
 
The state Ethics Commission is reportedly wrapping up an investigation into Bentley. In 2016, Strange asked Alabama’s House Judiciary Committee to end its investigation into impeaching the governor because of “related work” in his own office. He later clarified that his office never said it was investigating the governor. 
 
Bentley has denied the allegations of wrongdoing, but appointing Strange to the Senate seat will allow him to pick the state’s next attorney general. 
 
Strange will have to run in a special election in 2018 to keep the seat.
Tags Jeff Sessions Mike Pence Orrin Hatch

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