Donald Trump considering Utah Sen. Mike Lee as U.S. attorney general

The Utah Republican senator’s political flexibility has seen him journey from a harsh critic of Trump to one of his most vocal supporters.

FILE – President Donald Trump stands with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, on Dec. 4, 2017, at the Utah State Capitol. Romney announced earlier this month he won’t seek a second term, saying younger people needed to step forward. In so doing, he threw open a wider door for those seeking to enter the race and led to speculation about whether Utah voters will choose a politically moderate successor similar to him or a farther-right figure such as Utah’s other U.S. senator, Mike Lee, a Trump supporter. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Utah Sen. Mike Lee has been floated as a possible nominee for United States Attorney General in a potential second Donald Trump administration.

A Bloomberg story citing “people familiar with the matter” says the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is considering Lee or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to fill the top spot at the Department of Justice should Trump return to the White House following the 2024 election.

This is not the first time Lee has been suggested for a top appointment by Trump or other Republican presidential hopefuls. Lee has thrice been suggested as a possible Supreme Court pick by Trump – during his first campaign in 2016 and again in 2020 and 2023. Former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy included Lee on his list of potential SCOTUS nominations last summer, CNN reported.

Lee’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Salt Lake Tribune.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks at a campaign rally for President Donald Trump at Phoenix Goodyear Airport Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Utah Republican has been a loud critic of the federal prosecutions against Trump for illegally retaining classified documents and Trump’s role in the effort to overturn his 2020 election loss and subsequent attack by his supporters against the U.S. Capitol.

Lee played a key role in the plot to help Trump stay in the White House despite that election loss. He also has connections to other key players in the lead-up to January 6, including lobbying then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on behalf of conspiracy theorist and lawyer Sidney Powell to access to Trump. The House January 6 Committee’s final report says Lee worked tirelessly the month before the attempted insurrection encouraging state legislatures to appoint alternative electors to give Trump a possible lifeline for staying in power. Lee also embraced a discredited conspiracy theory that federal agents disguised as Trump supporters were responsible for the Jan. 6 attack, later quietly walking it back.

During his political career, Lee has undergone a dramatic transformation, morphing from a harsh critic of Trump to an ardent supporter.

In 2016, he helped lead a last-ditch effort at the Republican National Convention to prevent Trump from winning the 2016 Republican nomination. A month before the 2016 election, Lee posted a video on social media, which he later deleted, calling on Trump to quit the race after a video surfaced of him making crude comments about women. Four years later, Lee had done a complete 180 on Trump, comparing him to Captain Moroni, a hero from the Book of Mormon, at a campaign rally in Arizona.

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