Shanahan Withdraws as Defense Secretary Nominee, and Mark Esper Is Named Acting Pentagon Chief

Two particular incidents stand out. On the night of Aug. 27, 2010, at the couple’s residence in Seattle, Mr. Shanahan’s wife at the time, Kimberley Jordinson Shanahan, called 911 after a fight with Mr. Shanahan. According to a statement from the couple’s son, the two argued over, among other things, a briefcase belonging to Mr. Shanahan that Mrs. Shanahan wanted to open.

Mr. Shanahan refused to allow his wife to take the briefcase, and a tug of war ensued. “My dad yanked the briefcase out of my mom’s hands and put it in the trunk of his car,” the couple’s oldest son, William C. Shanahan, said in the statement. “Then he slammed the trunk and locked the car. My mom was yelling, ‘Get the briefcase, get the briefcase.’”

Ms. Jordinson told the police that Mr. Shanahan punched her in the stomach while trying to take back the briefcase. He denied that accusation, and the police charged her with domestic violence, but then dropped the charge.

The second incident took place in Florida on Nov. 23, 2011, after the couple’s divorce in September of that year. According to a statement from Ms. Jordinson, William Shanahan, then 17, attacked his mother after she confronted him about a relationship that she said he was having with the family’s 36-year-old former nanny. Ms. Jordinson said William pinned her against a wall and then got a baseball bat, “which he used to hit me repeatedly in the head, back, arms, neck, left and right hip, and the back of my legs.”

Ms. Jordinson said that she was knocked unconscious, and that William packed a bag and left the house. The couple’s youngest son, Jack, ran to a neighbor’s house and called the police. Ms. Jordinson was hospitalized.