As Ty Matsdorf said in a statement (.PDF) late on Friday, the Montana Democrat and his former state office director Melodee Hanes began their relationship in the summer of 2008, following the separation of Max Baucus and his now ex-wife Wanda. However, she later withdrew, saying she had other opportunities.
However, Matsdorf elaborated, saying that Max Baucus and Melodee Hanes (Facebook photos) had decided together to withdraw her name from nomination. They couple did so because they wanted to live together in Washington, D.C., which they later did.
Hanes started working for Baucus in 2002 and was his state director before leaving his office earlier this year for a position in the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to Matsdorf's statement, "With an extensive background as a prosecutor and extensive legal experience, Ms. Hanes submitted her name for consideration for the U.S Attorney position from Montana. Her name was one of six that was submitted for review by Senator Baucus to an independent, highly respected Montana attorney who reviewed the applications. After an extensive evaluation of all the applicants’ qualifications, Ms. Hanes was one of three applicants the third-party reviewer recommended for consideration. Senator Baucus and Senator Tester then interviewed those candidates and Senator Baucus then submitted those three names to the White House, with no ranking or preference."
The statement also noted that although both Max Baucus and Melodee Hanes are divorced, their relationship had not bearing on those separations.
President Barack Obama eventually nominated Helena attorney Michael Cotter for the job, which includes supervising prosecutors of all federal crimes committed in Montana and the state's seven Indian reservations. Cotter is awaiting confirmation.