Two months after the start of its lawsuit surrounding the JEDI cloud contract, Amazon is calling on Donald Trump to testify. The move follows a report that the president told his defense secretary to “screw Amazon” out of the $10 billion deal.
The company previously highlighted Trump’s words on the campaign trail, where he vowed that Amazon would have problems under his presidency. He also referred to Jeff Bezos as “Jeff Bozo”, and has taken particular issue with his newspaper, the Washington Post.
“President Trump is the only individual who can testify about the totality of his conversations and the overall message he conveyed,” said AWS’ lawyers. “Moreover, President Trump has unique knowledge about whether he had other, previously undisclosed conversations with individuals not previously identified, and who therefore do not appear on the deposition list.”
I imagine the chance of the president responding to the summons is near zero. If he can dodge an impeachment, this shouldn’t cause a significant legal issue. While there are clearly questions of impartiality from Trump, I doubt this will surface any new answers. It is, however, a good way to draw publicity.
Microsoft, meanwhile, claims that it won the contract on merit alone. Chief legal officer Brad Smith says his company worked hard to scale up and exceed most of the requirements, rather than just meeting them.
As of yet, there’s no hard evidence to suggest that Microsoft was awarded the contract out of nepotism. Several competing companies argued that the contract was biased towards Amazon from the start, leading to a lengthy review. There were also concerns about AWS’s hiring of a former Defense Department official.
Trump has yet to go on a Twitter rant about the development and Microsoft has also been quiet so far. Long shot or not, we’ll be keeping an eye on the proceedings and any new information that may surface as a result.