Judge Gives Jeff Bezos A Big Win Over Trump, Halts Pentagon’s JEDI Program
Feb. 13, 2020
Chris White Tech Reporter
A federal judge temporarily halted Microsoft from building out a massive cloud computing project after Amazon argued President Donald Trump cheated the company out of the lucrative deal.
Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith ruled Thursday that the $10 billion contract cannot proceed “until further order of the court.” Campbell-Smith’s decision came after Amazon asked the court to depose Trump and several current and former White House officials tied to the project.
“We believe that we will ultimately be able to move forward with the work to make sure those who serve our country can access the new technology they urgently require,” Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw said in a statement reacting to the decision.
He said the company is “disappointed.”
Amazon asked the court Monday to produce former Secretary of Defense James Mattis to discuss elements of Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, a project Amazon was in line to obtain.
Amazon also wants to depose Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Trump himself to answer questions.
Amazon was long considered a front-runner for JEDI, but the tech behemoth fell out of favor after Trump found out about the deal. The decision to give Microsoft the deal came in October 2019 after Trump, a Bezos critic, instructed DOD that August to put the contract on hold.
Oracle, a computing giant, stated in a May 2019 complaint that Amazon offered former DOD official Deap Ubhi shares in the company and a salary with the tech giant while he was finding a company to help build out JEDI. Ubhi never recused himself, according to the document.
Neither the White House nor Amazon have responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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