Brett McGurk, President Obama’s choice for ambassador to Iraq, withdrew his nomination on Monday amid allegations of improper behavior, according to several news reports.
McGurk wrote in a letter to the president and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that he was stepping aside because, with summer recess approaching, a confirmation fight over his nomination could leave the United States Embassy in Baghdad without a permanent leader for several months.
McGurk’s withdrawal comes after a series of leaked, personal e-mails with a Wall Street Journal reporter fueled Republican resistance to his nomination.
“Iraq urgently needs an ambassador,” McGurk wrote, according to The New York Times. “The country is in the midst of a political crisis and our mission is undergoing rapid transformation.”