On Feb. 13th, a Federal Judge granted the request of Amazon Web Services that any work on the Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative (JEDI) be temporarily halted. The JEDI contract is for the purpose of managing the Department of Defenses data via the cloud, and is said to be worth $10 billion over 10 years and thats just for starters. Before Microsoft won the contract in October of 2019 that was also pursued by Google, Oracle, IBM and Rean Cloud (part of Hitachi), many had considered that Amazon was the guaranteed winner. However, weeks before the award was expected to be announced, Donald Trump ordered the contract to be placed on hold while Mark Esper investigated the claims of favoritism towards Amazon.
Trump has made no secret of his disdain for Jeff Bezos and his psywar rag, the Washington Post, which he has opined has being nothing more than an expensive lobbyist for Amazon, as well as questioning whether the WAPO is used as protection against antitrust claims. Amidst this feud between Bezos and Trump, Amazon filed a complaint in the US Court of Federal Claims in Washington in early December 2019 saying that Trump had launched repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks on Amazon and its expected win of the JEDI contract, in order to direct it towards Microsoft. The complaint went on to say that Trumps aim was to harm his perceived political enemy Jeffrey P. Bezos. In court documents unsealed this past Monday, Amazon has also revealed its intention to depose Donald Trump, as well as Esper and Mattis. Amazon’s lawyers apparently acknowledged that deposing a president would undoubtedly present unique circumstances, but are intent on discovering evidence that Trump personally intervened in the awarding of the JEDI contract.
Amazon is no stranger to being awarded government contracts, having secured running the CIAs cloud for $600 million, according to media reports. AWS is also purported to have other contacts with various 3 letter agencies of the Military Industrial Intelligence Complex, but publicly available details remain scant. According to a report by Canalys, as of February 2020, AWS has 32.4% of the cloud market.