Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan will not go forward with his confirmation process for the full, permanent position, President Trump tweeted on Tuesday. Army Secretary Mark Esper will step into the temporary role.
The reported reasons behind Shanahan's decision are harrowing. Reports published on Tuesday by USA Today and The Washington Post reveal a history of domestic abuse that has plagued Shanahan's family. The FBI has been investigating a violent domestic dispute between Shanahan and his then-wife, Kimberley, from 2010 during the agency's background check in preparation for what would have been Shanahan's confirmation hearing. Both Shanahan and his ex-wife claimed they had been punched by the other, USA Today reports. Kimberly was charged by authorities. Shanahan said in a statement that he "never laid a hand on my then-wife." USA Today originally reported that the FBI review would not alter the White House's plans to go ahead with the confirmation.
The Post's report highlights a different domestic violence incident from 2011, in which Shanahan's oldest son, William, who was then 17, assaulted his mother with a baseball bat after a confrontation resulting from her suspicions that William was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a 36-year-old woman. Kimberley required surgery as a result of the incident. The elder Shanahan reportedly defended his son, writing in a memo that he acted in self-defense. He told the Post, however, that he was only preparing for William's court case and that he wrote the memo without knowing the full extent of Kimberley's injuries. He said he never believed William's violent act was justified.
In his Twitter post announcing the confirmation withdrawal, Trump wrote that Shanahan was backing out to "devote more time with his family." Tim O'Donnell
Larry Baer, the CEO of the San Francisco Giants, will step away from the team while Major League Baseball launches a domestic violence investigation into an altercation Baer had with his wife, Pam.
TMZ Sports published a video on Friday showing Baer forcibly trying to grab his cell phone from Pam, as the chair she is sitting in topples to the ground. The couple released a joint statement on Friday expressing regret about the incident, which Baer followed with an individual statement offering an apology.
The Giants' board of directors released another statement on Monday, acknowledging that Baer is aware is aware that his behavior was "unacceptable" and that the franchise is cooperating fully with MLB's investigation.
The incident is the latest in a growing list of domestic violence allegations that have plagued MLB in the years following the league's implementation of a domestic violence policy in 2015 under Commissioner Rob Manfred, including last year's investigations of Houston Astros' reliever Roberto Osuna and Chicago Cubs' shortstop Addison Russell, who have and will serve suspensions, respectively. Tim O'Donnell