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Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie is being considered to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general, according to CNN and CBS News.

Why it matters: Barring a recusal, the next attorney general will oversee the Russia investigation. Christie remains a Trump loyalist on most issues, but has been outspoken in his defense of special counsel Robert Mueller and his belief that Trump should let the investigation proceed uninterrupted.

What he's said:

  • On Trump's attacks on Mueller (May, 2018): "I've told [Trump] many times that there's no way to make an investigation like this shorter, but there's lots of ways to make it longer. And he's executed on a number of those ways to make it longer... Bob Mueller himself is not a partisan, he's an honest guy, he is a hard working guy, he's smart and you can't argue that the investigation hasn't been effective so far."
  • On bias in the Mueller investigation (Dec., 2017): "Bob Mueller is a good man who I think will try to do the right thing by this investigation, but that doesn't mean he's perfect. And by allowing folks [like Peter Strzok and Andrew Weissmann] into the investigation that can be charged, based upon their own words, with having a bias towards Mrs. Clinton or against President Trump, it's an issue."
  • On Don McGahn cooperating with Mueller (April, 2018): "This shows what a C-level legal team the president had at the beginning with Ty Cobb and John Dowd. You never waive [executive privilege], absolutely not, and it put Don McGahn in an impossible situation. Once you waive that privilege and you turn over all those documents, Don McGahn has no choice then but to go in and answer everything, answer every question they can ask him."
  • On Trump sitting down for an interview with Mueller (April, 2018): "He should never walk into that room with Robert Mueller. Because in the end, one of the things that makes the president who he is, is that he’s a salesman. And salesmen, at times, tend to be hyperbolic. Right, and this president certainly has tended to do that. That’s OK when you’re on the campaign hustle. That’s OK when you’re working on Congress. It is not OK when you’re sitting talking to federal agents... That can send you to jail.”
  • On Jared Kushner (Dec., 2017): "He deserves the scrutiny. You know why? Because he was involved in the transition and involved in meetings that call into question his role."
  • On Rudy Giuliani claiming the president can't obstruct justice (June, 2018): "It's an outrageous claim. It's wrong."
  • On Trump Tower meeting (Aug., 2017): "This meeting was ill-advised. This is not something that should have happened...Everybody in retrospect knew this was a bad idea. But let's not jump ahead of ourselves. We don't know if the president knew about those emails."

Axios will be publishing these previews on different topics as potential names are floated for Attorney General.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

U.S. and NATO answer Putin in writing while bracing for Ukraine invasion

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty

The U.S. and NATO provided Russia with written proposals on Wednesday to advance a "diplomatic path forward," even as they warned that Russia could invade Ukraine within days.

Why it matters: This is a delicate diplomatic balancing act. The U.S. and NATO want to show they're serious about diplomacy but unwilling to compromise on "core principles" — all without providing Vladimir Putin with an additional pretext for escalation.

The political leanings of the Supreme Court justices

Data: Martin-Quinn scores; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Supreme Court will continue to have a solid conservative majority even with Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement.

How to read the chart: An analysis by political scientists Andrew Martin and Kevin Quinn, known as the Martin-Quinn Score, places judges on an ideological spectrum. A lower score indicates a more liberal justice, whereas a higher score indicates a more conservative justice.

The front-runners for Biden's Supreme Court pick

Judge Kentaji Brown Jackson (left) and Justice Leondra Kruger (right) Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images and Lonnie Tague, US Department of Justice

Two highly accomplished Black female judges — Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; and Leondra Kruger, a justice on the California Supreme Court — are seen as the early front-runners to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

The big picture: Jackson is a powerful federal judge with a record that progressives feel they can trust. Kruger was a highly regarded litigator and has carved out a reputation for working well with conservative judges.