Patrick Shanahan Steps Down as Acting Defense Secretary

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Patrick Shanahan, the acting secretary of defense who President Donald Trump said would likely be chosen to take over the job permanently, has announced that he will be stepping down and withdrawing from consideration.

President Trump announced the departure on Twitter:

The 56-year old Shanahan, became acting secretary on Jan. 1 following the resignation of James Mattis. The senate confirmed his nomination as deputy secretary of defense in July 2017 with a 92-7 vote. Prior to becoming a public servant, Shanahan had a 30-year career as an executive with Boeing, one of the nation’s largest defense contractors.

The announcement comes after details were published of a 2010 domestic violence incident with ex-wife Kimberley Jordinson. The event was investigated during his FBI background check.

Shanahan and Jordinson both stated to the police that they had been each been struck by the other. Shanahan maintains that “never laid a hand on” her. However, in a separate incident in 2011, his 17 year old son allegedly hit Shanahan’s ex-wife with a baseball bat.

President Trump has already named 54-year old Mark Esper, Secretary of the Army, as his successor. A West Point graduate and retired Army lieutenant colonel, Esper worked in the in the defense industry prior to becoming secretary of the army in November 2017.

Situation is ongoing, check back for updates.

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