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Baucus Recommended Girlfriend for U.S. Attorney Post

Posted Dec 7, 2009 7:36 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., has confirmed that he nominated his girlfriend along with two other candidates to be U.S. attorney for Montana.

The woman, Melodee Hanes, withdrew from consideration to live with Baucus in Washington, D.C. Main Justice and Roll Call broke the news on Friday, the Wall Street Journal reports. Hanes had been a county prosecutor and a law professor at Drake University before she became director of state operations for Baucus.

Baucus says he and Hanes were separated from their spouses when the relationship began.

Hanes is now counselor to the administrator in the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the New York Times reports. DOJ officials said Baucus did not recommend Hanes or lobby for her to get the position.

Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said reports of the relationship raised “a whole host of ethical questions,” and the Senate ethics committee should investigate.

The Washington Post also had the story.

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