Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The Defense Department Office of Inspector General, said on Wednesday that it had launched an investigation into whether the Secretary had Patrick Shanahan, used to promote his position, to his former employer, Boeing.
The investigation comes after the non-profit citizens for responsibility and ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the watchdog’s office last week, with the statement that Shanahan appeared to testify for the promotion of Boeing and the contempt of competitors, such as Lockheed Martin.
Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson, said in a statement that Shanahan welcomes the review.
“Acting Secretary Shanahan has been submitted to and remained at all times is committed to compliance with its ethics agreement with the Ministry of defence,” said Crosson. “This agreement and all matters Boeing shall ensure, by the appropriate officials in the Pentagon, in order to apparent or actual conflicts of interest Problem(s) with Boeing.”
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Shanahan, 56, joined Boeing in 1986 and spent more than 30 years ago, there was in front of the Trump nominated him as Deputy defence Minister in March 2017. Shanahan was Executive Minister of defense at the beginning of this year, after the resignation of James Mattis
Shanahan is under an ethics signed the agreement in June 2017, outlined the steps he would take to avoid “any actual or apparent conflict of interest,” and said he would not, in any case, the Boeing.
The complaint is based in large part on published reports, including by Politico in January, said Shanahan has made remarks, praised Boeing in the meetings on contracts with the government, concerns about “whether or not Shanahan, intentionally or not, he will have his finger on the scale when it comes to Pentagon priorities.”
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An example of the complaint, the Pentagon is triggered-decision on request for funding for Boeing 15EX fighter jets in 2020 planned budget. The Pentagon, the request of over 1 billion US to buy dollars, eight in the plane.
While at Boeing, Shanahan led the company programs, the missile defense and military helicopters and is credited with the rescue of the beleaguered 787 Dreamliner program. Trump attracted seemed to Shanahan in part for his work on the president’s pet projects — creating a Space Force.
He has also Shanahan praised former employer, Boeing, builder, many of the military’s most distinctive aircraft, including the Apache and Chinook helicopters, the C-17 cargo plane and B-52 bombers, as well as the iconic presidential aircraft Air Force One.
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The probe comes as Boeing is struggling to come up with a public fire storm over problems with its Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. And the attention is focused on whether Trump will nominate Shanahan as his formal pick for defense chief, rather than him languishing, as Deputy head of a large Federal Agency.
This is only the third time in history that the Pentagon has been led by an acting chief, and Shanahan served in this capacity for 85 days, which is longer than all the others. Bill Clements served as Deputy Minister of defence for 39 days in the year 1973, while William Howard Taft IV spent 66 days in the job in 1989.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.