Kris Hansen, Former Assistant Attorney General, Dies at 52

HELENE, Mont. (AP) — Kris Hansen, who recently left the No. 2 post in the Montana attorney general’s office, has died at the age of 52, according to state officials.

According to a press release from the Montana Department of Justice, Hansen died early Thursday, the Independent Record reported. No information about her cause of death was released.

Hansen was named chief deputy for the Montana Department of Justice in December 2020. Before that, she worked for the Montana State Auditor’s Office, representing Havre as the Republican Legislature.

In late May, Hansen confirmed she was leaving the office, but declined to say why. The attorney general’s office said at the time she left to “attend to personal and family matters.”

“Kris was a dear friend, a conservative leader and an amazing woman who dedicated her life to others,” Attorney General Austin Knudsen said in a statement on Friday.

Hansen was a central figure during the Republican standoff with the judiciary last year. Hansen, representing Republican lawmakers who had subpoenaed court records, wrote a public letter accusing the Supreme Court of interfering with a legal investigation by overturning a court record subpoena.

The court ultimately ruled that the legislature had exceeded its powers with the subpoenas.

Hansen was a Montana National Guard veteran and served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She also served on a tour of duty with the Central Intelligence Agency in Mogadishu, Somalia, in the early 1990s.

Gov. Greg Gianforte said in a statement that Hansen’s “irresistible spirit left an impact on everyone who knew her.”

A spokesman for Knudsen on Friday declined to offer information about the cause of death or the place of death, as well as information about the funeral.

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