Partner Frank Murray was quoted in a Washington Business Journal
article, “Amazon's JEDI protest relies heavily on Trump. But it might not get to argue that point
,” about what evidence the Court of Federal Claims might consider in Amazon Web Services battle to overturn the Pentagon's award of a $10 billion cloud-computing contract to arch-rival Microsoft. Amazon has argued that President Trump’s antipathy for Jeff Bezos was a factor in the award and wants to submit videos of Trump rallies into the record.
“I can guarantee you that the Trump rally is not part of the administrative record,” Murray said. “So what you have to do as a protester at the Court of Federal Claims is make a motion to supplement the administrative record to bring in outside evidence and argue that it’s needed by the judge to resolve the issues in dispute.”
That’s where lawyers for both AWS and the government are expected to have their fiercest legal confrontations: whether the president’s comments should be counted as evidence in an evaluation of the acquisition process, Murray said.
Murray said he did not know of a legal precedent that involving the political volatility or the animus attributed to one company that is featured in the JEDI case. But it might not matter, given the bias argument likely won’t be a determining factor of the case, but rather a supplementing one. “I do think, in some regards, that this is very unusual, uncharted territory,” he said. “I still think that to the extent that the bias argument gets traction, it still needs to find some footing in the evaluation record.”