Amazon Seeks Trump Testimony in JEDI Case

After losing its bid for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to Microsoft in 2019, Amazon filed a lawsuit against the government to review the bidding process. Now, Amazon is pushing for President Trump and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to testify as to the award of the JEDI contract The JEDI contract, worth $10 billion, will govern the construction of the military’s next-generation cloud computing infrastructure. Amazon has filed the suit in the United States Court of Federal Claims. Amazon is represented by Morrison & Foerster.

Repeated delays, investigations, and controversies have clouded the JEDI contract, both before and after its award. Amazon raised concerns that President Trump was biased against Amazon due to his criticism of the company and its CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. President Trump has been vocally, publicly critical of both Bezos and the Post. Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud service, seeks Trump’s testimony “about conversations or other involvement he has regarding the JEDI bid process or efforts to harm Amazon or AWS.” Amazon also wants to depose other officials including Esper, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Dana Deasy, Chief Information Officer for the Department of Defense, among others.

The government claims that the award process was conducted fairly. However, Amazon stated that Trump unfairly used the military budget for his own agenda. Amazon stated, “President Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to use his position as President and Commander in Chief to interfere with government functions — including federal procurements — to advance his personal agenda.” Amazon wants to stop Microsoft and the government from working on the project while the suit is in progress. Amazon was thought to be the top bidder, due to its dominant position in the cloud computing market.

The redacted version of Amazon’s motion to supplement the administrative record was unsealed last week. This document calls for President Trump to testify, noting he has disrupted and interfered with government functions and shown animosity and bias towards Amazon. Amazon also claimed that the Defense Department’s behavior to award Microsoft was “unusual,” and that the DoD made errors. “These errors pervaded nearly every evaluation factor to systematically disfavor AWS, including DoD arbitrarily relying on an outdated, superseded version of AWS’s proposal, contradicting its own earlier factual determinations; misstating facts from AWS’s proposal; downplaying gross deficiencies and failures in Microsoft’s proposal and demonstrations; and fabricating areas of superiority in the final stages of evaluation to favor Microsoft.”