Monday 10 February 2020 10:03 pm

Amazon seeks to depose Trump in $10bn Pentagon contract battle

Amazon is seeking to depose Donald Trump and US defence secretary Mark Esper in a legal battle over whether the president was trying to ‘“screw Amazon” in handing a Pentagon cloud computing contract to Microsoft.

Amazon Web Services said Trump influenced the decision to give the $10bn (£7.74bn) Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure Cloud contract, which is intended to give the US military remote access to data and technology, to its rival.

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The tech giant is seeking to find out “exactly how President Trump’s order to ‘screw Amazon’ was carried out during the decision making process”.

Otherwise “the court cannot objectively and fully evaluate AWS’s credible and well-grounded allegations about bias and bad faith,” it said. 

Amazon is also seeking to depose former defence secretary James Mattis, Pentagon chief information officer Dana Deasy and four other procurement officials. 

Trump has previously lashed out at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and publicly criticised the company. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which has been critical of the Trump administration. 

The company filed a motion in court last month to delay the award of the contract to Microsoft until after its lawsuit. 

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An Amazon spokesperson said that “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.

“The question is whether the President of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the DoD to pursue his own personal and political ends,” the spokesperson added.

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