A federal court just handed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos a victory in a very petty legal battle with President Donald Trump.
The richest man in the entire world is suing Trump after his company lost out on a Pentagon contract to Microsoft — and the contract was suspended by the courts Thursday until the dispute is settled, according to multiple media reports. Bezos has accused Trump of denying Amazon the contract out of personal animus and wants to have Trump testify under oath (yes, really) about the factors involved in the decision.
Court hands Bezos victory
Since its founding, Amazon has moved far beyond its homely origins as a digital bookstore and is now on the verge of becoming not just a surveillance monopoly, but a defense contractor. At the core of the legal dispute with Trump is a $10 billion contract with the Defense Department that Bezos covets, and to which he clearly feels entitled.
The cloud computing contract is for a program called Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), according to CNBC. Microsoft won the contract in October, and Bezos, naturally, filed a lawsuit claiming that Trump’s bias against him played a role. Trump has attacked Bezos and the newspaper he owns, The Washington Post, repeatedly throughout his presidency.
In a 103-page lawsuit, Amazon accused Trump of “behind-the-scenes attacks” and complained that some kind of bias prevented the Pentagon from understanding the clear superiority of Amazon’s offer. Indeed, in what reads like the legal form of a temper tantrum, Bezos questioned how the DoD overlooked the “unique strengths” of Amazon’s proposal and the “clear failures” in Microsoft’s.
But that’s not all. Bezos also wants Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and former Pentagon chief Jim Mattis to testify about any influence Trump might have had in awarding the contract.
Amazon claims public interest at stake
The Pentagon, for its part, has said that the contract was awarded fairly. Both the Pentagon and Microsoft issued statements expressing their disappointment with the recent ruling, Law & Crime noted.
“We are disappointed in today’s ruling and believe the actions taken in this litigation have unnecessarily delayed implementing DoD’s modernization strategy and deprived our warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need,” the Pentagon said, according to CNBC. “However, we are confident in our award of the JEDI cloud contract to Microsoft and remain focused on getting this critical capability into the hands of our warfighters as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
A spokesman for Amazon said it was in the interest of taxpayers — not Bezos and his insatiable avarice — that they brought the suit, which was intended to make sure that no “political interference” played a role in snubbing Bezos. You just can’t make this stuff up: “All we’re trying to do through this protest and this request for a legal review is to ensure that a proper decision was made on behalf of U.S. taxpayers,” Amazon lawyer Jay Carney said, according to Fast Company.
World’s tiniest violin plays for Jeff “Bozo”
At issue, Amazon says, is whether Trump is using the Pentagon budget for his “personal and political ends.” Apparently there’s nothing personal or political about a tech monopoly interrupting work on a defense project with a frivolous lawsuit.
Anytime Trump does something while the sun is up, apparently, it’s for his “personal gain.” Oligarchs like Bezos are taking advantage of the anti-Trump animus — animus stirred by the newspaper he owns — to press spurious, self-serving claims for their personal benefit.
But even supposing that Bezos is telling the truth, who cares?