Amazon Is Trying to Get Trump to Testify Under Oath About $10 Billion Pentagon Contract

Amazon on Monday asked to a federal court to allow its attorneys to depose President Donald Trump in connection with a lawsuit alleging that the president improperly pressured the Department of Defense, preventing the Pentagon from awarding a $10 billion contract to the company.

As Law&Crime previously reported, the world’s largest online retailer filed a 103-page complaint in Dec. 2019 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims accusing the federal government of abandoning objectivity and carrying out Trump’s “personal vendetta” against Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos by awarding the lucrative Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to Microsoft instead of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Bezos is also the owner of The Washington Post, a news outlet which Trump has repeatedly called “fake news” and accused, without evidence, of printing false stories about his presidency.

According to the court filing, Amazon is seeking to interview Trump pertaining to his “involvement in any aspect of the JEDI program, contract solicitation, and/or award,” as well as any statements regarding, “AWS, Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”), Jeffrey P. Bezos, and/or the Washington Post.”

The company also wants to ask the president about any interactions with former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and current Secretary of Defense Mark Esper that may have included discussions of the JEDI program, the Washington Post, Amazon, or the “termination and/or resignation of Secretary Mattis.”

In its initial complaint, Amazon contended that “any meaningful review of that decision reveals egregious errors on nearly every evaluation factor from ignoring the unique strengths of AWS’s proposal, to overlooking clear failures in Microsoft’s proposal to meet JEDI’s technical requirements, to deviating altogether from DoD’s own evaluation criteria to give a false sense of parity between the two offerors.”

Seeking reversal of the decision, Amazon claimed the decision was not based on a dispassionate analysis of the bids, but based on President Trump’s personal disdain for Bezos.

“[These errors] were the result of improper pressure from President Donald J. Trump, who launched repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks to steer the JEDI Contract away from AWS to harm his perceived political enemy-Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and CEO of AWS’s parent company, Amazon.com, Inc. and owner of the Washington Post,” the lawsuit claimed. “DoD’s substantial and pervasive errors are hard to understand and impossible to assess separate and apart from the President’s repeatedly expressed determination to, in the words of the President himself, ‘screw Amazon.’”

Amazon is also seeking to depose Mattis, Esper, DoD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy, and the Chairperson of the Source Selection Evaluation Board, whose name is redacted on the filing.

See the full Amazon filing below:

Amazon JEDI Lawsuit Filing by Law&Crime on Scribd

[image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]

Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.

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