I wrote a story yesterday that speculated about why confirmation of Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Pentagon, Patrick Shanahan, has been delayed and no hearing date for his confirmation has yet been set.
“For unexplained reasons, Shanahan’s nomination appears to be in jeopardy,” I wrote. My story cited a recent article in Military Times that asked, “Why it’s taking so long to confirm Trump’s defense secretary choice?” That story also said that the Senate Armed Services Committee officials were still “waiting on an FBI background check and other formal paperwork from the executive branch.”
I speculated that the delay was caused by concern about Shanahan’s messy 2011 divorce from his wife of 22 years, Kim Shanahan. There are about 4,000 pages from the Shanahan’s divorce on file at the King County Superior Court in Seattle.
Shanahan’s wife claimed during the proceedings that her husband physically abused her. On one occasion, she said in a statement to the court, Shanahan punched her during a dispute over his suitcase. On one occasion, a fearful Kim claimed she called for help from one of the couple’s sons. The boy, according to an affidavit, picked up a baseball bat and rushed to his mother’s defense.
I emphasized that Shanahan denies the allegations of spousal abuse and the police arrested his former wife for assault. The son disputed the police report in his affidavit and said the cops took his father’s side. However, the son is now allegedly claiming that he made his statement due to coercion. (He has failed to reply to a request for comment.)
After having more time to review the Shanahan’s divorce records, it appears that trump’s nominee did not beat up his wife and that Kim has problems of her own. It’s a family tragedy and I won’t go into further details about it except to say that even though Shanahan apparently did not beat his wife, his household was extraordinarily dysfunctional — so much so that it calls into question his fitness to lead the Pentagon.
I know that the FBI is carefully studying the divorce records and must, if it is even remotely competent, surely be interviewing Shanahan, his former wife, his son and others who knew the family. And I would also say that based on information I have, Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, should be disqualified from heading the Pentagon even if his divorce and dysfunctional household doesn’t knock him out.
That’s because he has indecently close ties to defense industry executives, including some who work for firms bidding on a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract.