Lawyers representing Amazon Inc. are seeking to depose President Donald Trump to ascertain whether or not he intervened to deny the company a Pentagon contract in retaliation against Jeff Bezos.
Bezos has been a frequent Trump target since he took office.
The billionaire not only owns the Washington Post, he founded and owns Amazon, one of the largest corporations on the planet worth billions of dollars.
Thus far, there has been no low to which Trump would not sink to attack Bezos and Amazon. That’s why Trump is being accused of retaliating against the company after the Pentagon gave a lucrative $10 billion contract to Microsoft instead of Amazon back in October.
The computing services contract is part of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program.
In November, Amazon filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon alleging “improper pressure from President Donald J. Trump, who launched repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks to steer the JEDI Contract away from [Amazon Web Services] to harm his perceived political enemy — Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and CEO of AWS’s parent company, Amazon.com, Inc.”
And now, Amazon’s lawyers want to depose Trump himself.
According to CNBC:
Amazon’s cloud-computing arm said it’s looking to depose seven ‘individuals who were instrumental’ in the JEDI source selection and ‘played pivotal roles’ in the ultimate contract award. Aside from Trump, Mattis and Esper, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is also seeking to depose Dana Deasy, the Defense Department’s Chief Information Officer, the Source Selection Authority (SSA), which awarded the contract to Microsoft, as well as the chairpersons of the SSA, according to the documents.”
It’s unclear if Amazon’s lawyers will be allowed to depose Trump, but they certainly have a strong case for doing so if this statement by an Amazon Web Services spokesperson is any indication.
“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 spokesperson said. “The preservation of public confidence in the nation’s procurement process requires discovery and supplementation of the administrative record, particularly in light of President Trump’s order to ‘screw Amazon.’ 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.”
Trump’s alleged order to then-Secretary of Defense General James Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of the contract comes from a book written by one of Mattis’ speechwriters.
If the anecdote is accurate, Trump could once again be on the hook for abusing his power and engaging in an unlawful retaliation campaign.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons
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