Amazon demands Trump testify on Pentagon contract

Amazon demands Trump testify on Pentagon contract”

JEDI was awarded by the Department of Defense to Microsoft late a year ago after AWS had been widely expected to land the deal.

Attorneys for the internet shopping giant on Monday filed a motion [PDF] to depose Donald Trump, and senior government officials, to get the inside story on why the U.S. military awarded the ten-year winner-takes-all IT overhaul deal to Microsoft instead of Amazon Web Services.

In a filing with the US Court of Federal Claims unsealed Monday, Amazon said Trump has a "well-documented personal animus towards" Amazon, Bezos, and the Post.

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President Trump has launched a series of broadsides against Bezos, including the characteristic series of angry tweets.

Amazon's lawsuit chronicles a laundry list of comments and actions by Trump and the Defense Department that it claims show the Pentagon bowed to political pressure when awarding the deal to Microsoft. Amazon is asking the court to order the Defense Department to reevaluate the bids.

Trump interjected himself into contract process in July when he said to reporters that he "never had something where more people are complaining", according to a story by CNBC.

Two months after the start of its lawsuit surrounding the JEDI cloud contract, Amazon is calling on Donald Trump to testify.

Oracle had also protested after it and IBM were eliminated from an earlier round of bidding.

The 10-year contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program, better known as JEDI, will ultimately see all military branches sharing information in a system boosted by artificial intelligence.

In its filing, Amazon seeks to question Trump on any communications he's had with Microsoft, as well as Oracle, another tech giant that sought the JEDI contract and whose chief executive has dined with the president. Mr Bezos also possesses the Washington Post, a paper that the president often singles out for criticism.

"Given the importance of impartiality to the public trust, it is imperative that the Court have all relevant information before it when determining whether the JEDI contract was awarded in accordance with federal law", CREW's brief says, before going on to count numerous times Trump has tried to interfere with federal procurements to "to promote his own personal objectives".

It is also seeking to depose senior officials in the department, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and former Defense Secretary James Mattis. The Pentagon didn't immediately return an emailed request for comment Monday. One of the items AWS previously cited to support its argument of bias in the JEDI award process is a book by Mattis' onetime head speechwriter that claims Trump had told the former defense secretary to "screw Amazon".

The company is seeking to depose Trump to "develop facts not now known or accessible to [Amazon] demonstrating exactly how President Trump's order to "screw Amazon" was carried out during the decision-making process".

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