Amazon Web Services is seeking to depose President Trump and Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper in a high-stakes protest over the Pentagon’s handling of a $10 billion cloud computing contract, court records show.
The motion filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims significantly raises the stakes in a bitter procurement dispute over a long-awaited defense contract to create the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, known as JEDI. The contract would create a powerful, centralized computing system for use by the military and operated by a single commercial technology company.
The company will have a difficult time convincing the Court of Federal Claims, which hears lawsuits involving federal contracts, that it needs to depose Trump and Esper, said Franklin Turner, a government contracts attorney with the law firm McCarter & English.
“This is something that would be fought tooth and nail by the White House and Department of Justice as strongly as is legally possible,” Turner said. “And they have a lot of arrows to fire, because years and years of bid protest law have said ‘you have what you need in the agency’s record.’ ”