Yes, that's exactly how authoritarians act. It wasn't a surprise, but it was wrong and unethical. It's never happened before, but then we never had such a traitorous slime ball for a president before. Our expectations of conservatives operating by morals, ethics, laws and customs have sunk very low.
We need a new way of picking AGs so no president can use them to political ends, and so that no president can pick the AG who will reside over an investigation of said president. We all need to tell our congresscritters that.