Amazon is ratcheting up its dispute with the Pentagon over the decision to award the 10-year, $10 billion JEDI cloud contract to Microsoft.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon has asked the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to allow it to depose President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, former Defense Secretary John Mattis and Pentagon chief information officer Dana Deasy about the decision to award the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract to Microsoft on Oct. 25.
Amazon said in its filing, which was made public Monday, that the additional interviews were necessary because there is "concrete evidence of bias and bad faith" in the bid process, according to Bloomberg.
Based on its past work with the Central Intelligence Agency, its work in winning government cloud certifications and its commanding leadership in the public cloud sector, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was widely viewed as the leading candidate to win the JEDI contract when it was first announced.
Amazon filed a notice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in November that said it planned to contest the Pentagon's decision to give Microsoft the cloud-computing contract. When the decision was first announced, Amazon said in a statement that it was "the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly led to a different conclusion."
When it filed its lawsuit in November, Amazon alleged that the U.S. Department of Defense was swayed by President Trump's dislike of Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos.
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. Trump cited complaints by Microsoft, Oracle and IBM as the reason to look into how the JEDI contract was being awarded. IBM and Oracle were previously eliminated from the contract process, which they both protested, but lost, in court.
After becoming Secretary of Defense in July, Esper started reviewing the JEDI contract in August. Citing his son's work at IBM, Esper removed himself from the review of the Pentagon's JEDI cloud-computing contract in October prior to it being awarded.
After Microsoft was announced as the winner, Esper, Deasy and the Pentagon defended the decision to award the contract to Microsoft.
Last month, Amazon filed a motion that sought to pause Microsoft's work on the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud contract until a court rules on its protest of how it was awarded. In December, Microsoft President Brad Smith said on CNBC that work on JEDI continues despite Amazon’s protest.