Amazon has demanded that President Donald Trump and six other individuals testify in court over orders to “screw Amazon” out of a $10 billion defense contract.
According to court documents filed yesterday, Amazon is seeking to depose Trump, US defense secretary Mark Esper, former defese secretary James Mattis and four other “individuals who were instrumental” in ensuring the lucrative contract was awarded to Microsoft and not Amazon.
In October it was announced that Microsoft had beaten the market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) to the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, due to be worth $10 billion over 10 years.
It later emerged that Trump in a book written about Mattis that Trump has instructed his team to “screw Amazon” out of a chance to bid on the contract.
A month later Amazon said it planned to protest the decision in court, arguing that Trump launched “behind-the-scenes attacks” against it, many of which were detailed in Mattis’ memoir.
It is now calling for all individuals involved to appear in court to testify about the “efforts to harm Amazon or AWS” in the Whitehouse and Pentagon.
“While other individuals can testify about specific conversations he had with them individually, President Trump is the only individual who can testify about the totality of his conversations and the overall message he conveyed,” the filing read.
“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.”
Amazon has also pointed to Trump’s public and often vehement criticism of the company and its chief executive Jeff Bezos, highlighting his “repeated refusal to separate his personal interests from the national interest.”
A spokesperson added: “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.”