Pentagon Watchdog Finds No Evidence That White House Influenced $10 Billion JEDI Deal

The report from Pentagon's inspector general marks a win for Microsoft and the Pentagon, although it said the findings weren't conclusive because of a lack of cooperation from White House officials.
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In a report released on Wednesday, the Pentagon's inspector general said it did not uncover any evidence that the White House meddled in a $10 billion cloud deal that was ultimately awarded to Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report

The report noted that its findings weren't conclusive, as the watchdog had limited cooperation from White House officials in its investigation of misconduct by the White House.  

But the report also found that Pentagon personnel interviewed as part of the review “were not pressured regarding their decision on the award of the contract by any DoD leaders more senior to them, who may have communicated with the White House.”

The $10 billion cloud deal, dubbed Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), was awarded to Microsoft in a surprise to many observers after a lengthy bidding process that also included Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Report

Amazon later sued the Pentagon, alleging that the bidding process was tainted with "egregious" errors as well as by meddling from the White House. 

Last summer, months before the contract was awarded, Trump spoke of "tremendous complaints" about the bidding process, and implied that it was unfairly weighted towards Amazon. Trump has also exhibited a personal animus towards Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post. 

Soon after Trump's public statement about the bidding process, the Pentagon delayed its decision on the deal, but ultimately awarded the contract to Microsoft. 

In February, a federal judge granted Amazon's request that the Pentagon halt work on the JEDI deal until conflict over the deal plays out in the courts. And in mid-March, the Pentagon asked for more time to reconsider its award to Microsoft based on Amazon’s argument that its offerings and pricing had been inaccurately assessed by the Pentagon.

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