March 20, 2019

Defense Department Watchdog Announces Ethics Investigation of Acting Secretary Shanahan, Opened After Senator Warren’s Inquiries

Senator Warren wrote to Acting Secretary Shanahan and DOD Inspector General after whistleblower reported that Shanahan took action on behalf of his former employer, Boeing


Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, DC – On January 31, 2019, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent an oversight letter to Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan after public reports raised questions about his impartiality with respect to his former employer, Boeing, and its competitors, and after her office received a series of anonymous reports alleging that Acting Secretary Shanahan violated ethics rules by taking actions to promote Boeing in his current role at the Department of Defense.  Such actions would represent a potential violation of ethics rules. In addition to sending a letter to Acting Secretary Shanahan, Senator Warren shared the whistleblower reports with the DOD Inspector General. Today, the DOD IG announced it has opened an ethics investigation into Acting Secretary Shanahan’s potential ethics violations, including his actions on behalf of his former employer, Boeing.

“The American people should be able to trust that government officials are working for them – not for big defense contractors,” said Senator Warren. “When my office was alerted to allegations that Acting Secretary Shanahan may have advocated on behalf of his former employer, Boeing, while serving as the acting defense secretary, I investigated and took action.”