In a statement, Adm. Bill Moran confirmed that he had declined the appointment to Chief of Naval Operations, and regretted “any inconvenience” his decision caused President Donald Trump and Navy Secretary Richard Spencer. He said that though it was painful for him to retire instead, he did not wish to be an “impediment” to the Navy.

Said Moran, “I made this difficult decision based on an open investigation into the nature of some of my personal email correspondence over the past couple of years and for continuing to maintain a professional relationship with a former staff officer, now retired, who had while in uniform been investigated and held accountable over allegations of inappropriate behavior.”