Giuliani at Top of Odds List to Replace Sessions as U.S. Attorney General

Kim MacCormack

Thursday, November 8, 2018 4:50 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 4:50 PM UTC

With former Attorney General Jeff Sessions being asked to resign on Wednesday,  the list of who next could hold the job has many familiar faces. 

The ink is barely dry on former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “resignation” letter and odds are up on who will be his permanent replacement.

Bovada is offering odds on several possible candidates and there are some familiar names on the list – none of them being Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

At the top is Rudy Giuliani (+350), former New York City mayor and current attorney for President Trump and Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach (+350) who failed in his bid Tuesday to become governor of the Midwestern state.

The president also seems to have already put his stamp of approval on Kobach during a campaign stop in October. Trump said a loss in Kansas would be a gain for his administration.

“I would've loved to have brought him into my administration. In fact, if he loses, I'll bring him into my administration in two seconds. I hope he loses ‘cause I want him so badly, but don't do that," Trump said at the time.

On Tuesday, after the votes didn’t fall his way, Kobach said he hadn't talked to the president about the possible change of address.

"I have not had those discussions with the president but it was an interesting joke, that's for sure," KWCH-TV reported.

Giuliani also is favored for the fact that he seems to have been auditioning for the job for months.

With the back and forth almost daily on when Sessions might lose his post, the former mayor of New York City was on multiple news cable shows defending the president and showing loyalty, a big check mark for Trump in making his decision. He's also been out of the glare of cameras for the last month, possibly trying to lower his profile before getting a new job. All speculation, of course.

Chris Christie on short list to be Trump's next attorney general, report says https://t.co/emBmSUbCDK pic.twitter.com/gPsck4nIVR

— NJ.com (@njdotcom) November 8, 2018

Whomever does end up replacing Sessions permanently will be tasked with overseeing the Russia investigation lead by Special Counsel Muller. The replacement also will be under a lot of scrutiny by both Democrats and Republicans to see if there will be any interference in the probe.

Trump’s temporary replacement for the job, Matt Whitaker, who was Sessions’ chief of staff, already has drawn criticism for being highly critical of the investigation, even offering specifics on CNN in 2017 on how to effectively kill the probe.

"I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced, it would recess appointment and that attorney general doesn't fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigations grinds to almost a halt," Whitaker said.

For the record, Whitaker is not on Bovada’s short list to replace Sessions. Other notable absences is Florida Attorney General and friend to President Trump, Pam Bondi and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who CBS News is reporting is a possible choice.

Also, garnering odds on Bovada are:

  • Rep. Trey Gowdy (+400): The retiring congressman who grilled Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi probe called Sessions a “dead man walking for several months” on Fox News Wednesday night.
  • Alex Asar (+550): He has been the Health and Human Services secretary for almost a year and was general counsel for that agency under President George W. Bush.
  • Janice Rogers Brown (+800): Brown is a retired D.C. circuit judge and former California Supreme Court justice and is well-liked by conservatives.
  • Scott Walker (+900): Walker is out of a job, losing the gubernatorial race to Democrat Tony Evers, so he’s available.
  • Rod Rosenstein (+2000): With the interim appointment of Whitaker, Rosenstein who has been on the short list with Sessions to lose his job, no longer has oversight of the Mueller’s Russia probe. Yeah, he isn’t going to be the next U.S. Attorney General.

Other possible are Steven Bradbury (+500) Transportation Department general counsel, Bill Barr (+650) attorney general under former President George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993 , and Assistant Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan (+750).

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