The following is the April 25, 2019 U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General report into Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan.
From the report
This report of investigation describes the results of a Department of Defense Office of Inspector
General (DoD OIG) investigation into allegations that Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan,
took actions to promote his former employer, Boeing, and disparage its competitors, allegedly in
violation of his ethical obligations.
We received similar allegations from various referrals. On February 7, 2019, a Senate
Committee on Armed Services attorney forwarded an anonymous allegation to the DoD OIG that
asserted Mr. Shanahan violated ethics rules by promoting Boeing. For example, the allegation stated
that Mr. Shanahan tried to force the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller, to buy
Boeing F/A-18s, and threatened to cut other Air Force programs unless the Air Force Chief of Staff,
General David Goldfein, supported buying Boeing F-15Xs.
On February 14, 2019, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s staff forwarded three additional allegations
to the DoD OIG that asserted Mr. Shanahan pressured the Military Services to purchase Boeing aircraft.
Several newspaper articles reported similar allegations. For example, a Politico article stated
that Mr. Shanahan made remarks that “spurred accusations” that he was “boosting” Boeing which
“fuel[ed] questions about whether he harbors an unfair bias against other big military contractors.”
A Bloomberg article stated that the DoD’s initial decision to purchase Boeing F-15X aircraft came from
“top leadership,” which included “prodding” from Mr. Shanahan.
On March 13, 2019, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter
to the DoD OIG, referring to media reports of allegations against Mr. Shanahan and asking the DoD OIG
to investigate the allegations. The CREW letter alleged that Mr. Shanahan “made numerous statements
promoting his former employer Boeing and has disparaged the company’s competitors before
On March 14, 2019, Mr. Shanahan testified before the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
Senator Richard Blumenthal noted that CREW had requested that the DoD OIG investigate whether
Mr. Shanahan had “broken any ethics rules by promoting Boeing.” He asked Mr. Shanahan, “Do you
support such an investigation?” Mr. Shanahan replied, “Yes, I do.”
Download the document here.