Politico recently reported on allegations that acting Department of Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is biased in favor of Boeing, his former employer of 31 years. The ethics agreement that Shanahan signed during his nomination included a promise to recuse from certain matters involving Boeing, as well as a possibility that he could be authorized to participate in some cases. This promise reportedly “hasn’t stopped him from praising Boeing and trashing competitors such as Lockheed Martin during internal meetings.”
In the article, a defense expert questioned how acting Shanahan could perform essential functions of his position while recused from Boeing, because of its position as the second biggest defense contractor.
CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Defense for any waivers Shanahan received on his recusal from Boeing related matters. With potentially hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars at stake in defense contracts, the public has a direct and clear interest in understand the role he is playing, and whether he is being allowed to put his finger on the scale in favor of his former employer.