Republicans call for Amazon to testify on Pentagon relationship

The tech giant has another shot at a lucrative defense contract

Republicans are questioning Amazon’s relationship with the Pentagon after newly released emails showed defense officials praised tech executives for a $10 billion contract during the Trump administration.

on Tuesday, the new York Times Reported On previously unpublished emails that show Pentagon officials applauding Amazon executives while the company sought a lucrative defense contract between 2017 and 2018. The joint venture Defense Infrastructure Project, or JEDI, is set to find a technology company that will move the Defense Department’s computer networks. above the cloud.

In one example, times reports That Trump’s former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis traveled to Silicon Valley in 2017 to meet with executives from companies such as Apple, Amazon and Google. During this visit, Matisse became “uncomfortable” while Amazon representatives aggressively pitched their cloud-computing products to them. A former mentor to Matisse, Sally Donnelly, also referred to Bezos as “the genius of our era.” Donnelly, who later sent Mattis a list of reasons why he had met with Bezos, had previously worked at a consulting firm where his clients included Amazon.

Representatives Ken Buck (R-CO) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said in a joint statement on Tuesday, “This is what we were concerned about, and it is contrary to Amazon’s urging to look here.” There’s nothing.” “It has become more and more clear that Amazon used its market power and connection to payments to circumvent ethical boundaries and avoid competition in an effort to win this contract.”

Microsoft won a multibillion-dollar contract in 2019 after a closely watched bidding battle between Amazon. In the months leading up to the announcement of the winner of the contract, former President Donald Trump accused the Bezos-owned company of being critical of Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos. Washington Post of inappropriate media coverage.

But earlier this month the Defense Department announced that it will void its contract The allegations come amid the ongoing legal battle that Trump unfairly interfered with in the bidding process. In canceling the previous contract, Amazon is given a second chance to win the $10 billion deal. But Republicans in Washington are asking the company to testify about their Pentagon ties in light of newly released emails.

“Now, more than ever, we need to ask Amazon, under oath, whether it tried to unreasonably affect the largest federal contract in history,” the lawmakers wrote.

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