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An Arms Dealer, an Ex-N.F.L. Player and Huge Federal Contracts for Medical Gowns

The Defense Department distributed more than $1 billion in federal contracts last month to companies for disposable medical gowns to protect those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 100 large and midsize companies, many with track records of successfully completing federal procurement contracts, bid for the work. But the majority of the awards ultimately went to a handful of unexpected and inexperienced companies that now find themselves on the hook to produce hundreds of millions of gowns in a matter of months.

One deal, for $323 million, went to JL Kaya, whose only prior federal contracting work was a $7,296 project to make gauze.

A batch of contracts worth $194 million went to Health Supply US, a company founded this year by a former Trump administration official.

And an $88 million contract for gowns went to Maddox Defense, which says it has done government subcontracting work but has never managed a major contract of its own.

Two of those companies have been working with a retired National Football League player and, in one case, a former arms dealer who was barred from government contracting and was the inspiration for the film “War Dogs.”

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Credit…Warner Bros.

The contracts for the disposable gowns were announced last month by the Defense Logistics Agency, a Pentagon division that is working on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services to replenish the government’s stockpile of protective gear and other emergency supplies. The contracts — awarded to a handful of companies, almost all of them small businesses — require the companies to deliver as many as 260 million gowns by early next year.

The contracts went to the companies that offered to produce gowns at the lowest price. Jordan Gillis, the assistant secretary of defense for sustainment, said in a statement that in awarding the contracts, the Defense Department had considered the “financial capability, production capability, past performance and verified references” of bidders.

Mr. Gillis said bidders had “provided sourcing locations and production facility information to demonstrate their ability to comply with” the contract requirements. Since the contracts were awarded, he added, the Defense Department has met with the companies and “implemented robust contract oversight measures,” including visiting production facilities.

But the administration’s selection of inexperienced companies for a crucial job has raised questions across Washington.

At a Capitol Hill hearing last week, two senators expressed concerns that the contracts went to unqualified companies. In phone calls and letters, trade groups for major garment manufacturers have lodged complaints with the Defense Logistics Agency. And at least one company filed a complaint about the gowns contracts with the Government Accountability Office, which investigates federal spending.

“These are large and urgent contracts,” said Charles Tiefer, a former member of the federal Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan and a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. “You would expect them to be buying from major contractors they had gone to before, not from unknown contractors, not from unknown entities.”

The federal government’s effort to procure personal protective equipment during the pandemic has been deeply troubled. This spring, a task force led by President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, struggled to obtain masks as health care workers reused respirators and nurses wore garbage bags when they ran out of gowns. Mr. Kushner’s team favored leads about available equipment that came from Mr. Trump’s political allies and personal acquaintances, The New York Times has reported.

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Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Many states and hospitals were left to fend for themselves. They have had to sort through a sea of scammers that have sent prices soaring. In one instance, New York State awarded an $86 million contract for ventilators to a man who had never sold one before. The deal quickly unraveled.

JL Kaya won the largest award for disposable medical gowns: up to 85 million in the next several months. The company is run by Jose Lagardera, who on LinkedIn said his company’s founding philosophy was to “deliver quality, innovation and service in all of our dealings with our customers, and suppliers.” While the company has done federal subcontracting work before, its only previous contract with the U.S. government was in 2016, when it won a small deal to provide surgical gauze to the Army, according to public records.

It is not clear how JL Kaya plans to quickly produce tens of millions of medical-grade gowns. The company did not reply to numerous requests for comment. The email address on its website did not work.

Mr. Lagardera has teamed up with Bront Bird, who was a linebacker for the San Diego Chargers from 2011 through 2013 and is now a businessman. Mr. Bird posted a YouTube video on Sept. 25 in which he and Mr. Lagardera are in what appears to be a factory where workers are making gowns. Mr. Bird describes himself as an “agent and technical adviser” to JL Kaya. Mr. Lagardera appears in the background but does not speak.

With the camera on a man modeling a shiny blue gown, Mr. Bird said in the video that he was seeking approval to modify the design of the JL Kaya gowns to include thumb straps, among other features.

Mr. Lagardera and Mr. Bird did not reply to multiple requests for comment.

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Credit…Ben Margot/Associated Press

Since leaving football, Mr. Bird has pursued a variety of careers. He tried to win government work to rebuild the Puerto Rican electrical grid after Hurricane Maria in 2017 when he was chief executive of Foreman Electric, a services company in Mr. Bird’s hometown, Odessa, Texas. He later founded Karla Mae Capital, whose website says it provides companies with financing.

In recent months, Mr. Bird has turned his attention to the expanding market for personal protective gear. He has been working with Efraim Diveroli, the arms dealer portrayed by Jonah Hill in “War Dogs,” who is co-owner of a company called Medlink.

JL Kaya subcontracted some work on the federal award to Medlink, according to the Defense Department and Mr. Diveroli’s lawyer.

Mr. Diveroli is not supposed to be working on projects for the U.S. government. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to selling prohibited Chinese ammunition to the Pentagon and was later sentenced to four years in prison. He was barred from federal contracting, according to a March 2011 debarment order.

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Credit…Miami-Dade County Corrections Department

Mr. Diveroli declined an interview request through his lawyer, Eric Montalvo. Mr. Montalvo said the ban on his client’s involvement with federal contracts included an exemption that permitted him to work on commercially available products.

A spokesman for the Defense Department, Charles L. Prichard, said the Defense Logistics Agency had not been aware of Mr. Diveroli’s involvement with JL Kaya when it awarded the company a $323 million contract. After receiving an inquiry from The Times, the agency contacted JL Kaya, which disclosed the subcontract with Medlink.

Mr. Prichard said Medlink had “assisted JL Kaya with locating and vetting locations for production,” but had “no role” in making the gowns. “JL Kaya has since disassociated itself from Medlink,” Mr. Prichard said.

A Medlink official referred The Times to Mr. Montalvo, who confirmed that Mr. Diveroli had stopped working with JL Kaya.

Experts on the garment industry said small, untested companies like JL Kaya would be hard pressed to quickly fulfill federal contracts for tens of millions of gowns.

“Given the volume of the awards, this is going to take thousands of workers to fulfill,” said Kimberly Glas, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations. The group represents some of the nation’s largest textile makers, including some that applied for but did not receive the federal contracts.

Some lawmakers are worried about the ability of companies like JL Kaya to fulfill the government’s orders.

“It’s my understanding that some of those contracts have been to companies that have very little experience producing that kind of equipment, that the standards have not always been up to par and it’s created some real challenges,” Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, said during a congressional hearing last week.

Ellen Lord, the under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said during the hearing that the Defense Logistics Agency’s “very stringent criteria were met and adhered to” in awarding the contracts.

On Sept. 18, six trade associations representing American manufacturing companies wrote to the Defense Department expressing “serious concerns in relation to certain contract awardees for reusable and disposable gown procurement.” The letter said it was unclear whether the companies that won contracts could meet the government deadline and “have the technical proficiency to provide the quality of products necessary to protect health care workers.”

Among the other companies that won contracts to make gowns was Health Supply US. It was founded this year by Chris Garcia, who briefly served in the Trump administration as deputy director of the Minority Business Development Agency and was appointed to a White House advisory council in July. The company won several awards to make disposable gowns, together worth as much as $194 million.

Health Supply US plans to manufacture its gowns at several locations, including a former Brooks Brothers shirt factory in North Carolina. The company has also turned to another firm, Maddox Defense, to make as many as 11 million gowns on its behalf.

In addition to doing work for Health Supply US, Maddox Defense won a federal contract of its own worth as much as $88 million. It has set up production in Houston, where it is producing an average of 55,000 gowns per day, according to the company’s chief executive, Jason Maddox. He said the company had already produced millions of gowns for governments and hospitals.

Mr. Maddox said Mr. Bird had been working with his company as a technical adviser on the gowns. He said that Maddox Defense would be able to fulfill the federal contract and that the trade groups were simply “sore losers.”

“They’re alway going to protest,” Mr. Maddox said of his competitors. “They’re always going to try to dig up some dirt that’s just not true.”

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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This Company Boasted to Trump About Its Covid-19 Vaccine. Experts Are Skeptical.

As the deadly new virus spread globally, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a small biotech company in Pennsylvania, rushed to develop a vaccine. After announcing promising early results, Inovio’s stock soared more than 1,000 percent. Riding the momentum, the company sold more shares to the public.

That was 2009, when H1N1, better known as swine flu, was stoking fears of a devastating pandemic. In the years since, Inovio has announced encouraging news about its work on vaccines for malaria, the Zika virus and even a “cancer vaccine.” The upbeat declarations have caused the company’s stock price to leap, enriching investors and senior executives.

There’s only one catch: Inovio has never actually brought a vaccine to market.

Now, with a new pandemic raging, Inovio is working on a new vaccine: for the novel coronavirus. A flurry of positive news releases about its funding and preliminary results have sent Inovio’s shares up by as much as 963 percent — and helped the company attract money from the government and investors. At the same time, Inovio insiders have sold stock.

But some scientists and financial analysts question the viability of Inovio’s technology. While there are some early signs of promise with the company’s vaccine, Inovio has only released bare-bones data from the first phase of clinical trials. It is locked in a legal battle with a key manufacturing partner that claims Inovio stole its technology.

Shareholders have sued Inovio, claiming it has exaggerated its progress on a coronavirus vaccine to inflate its stock price. Adding to the challenges, Inovio’s potential vaccine will have to be administered by a gadget — it resembles an electric nose-hair trimmer and is called the Cellectra — that would direct genetic material into millions of patients.

And while the company has said that it is part of Operation Warp Speed — the flagship federal effort to quickly produce treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus — Inovio is not on the list of companies selected to receive financial support to mass-produce vaccines.

“The absence of that funding, coupled with their ongoing litigation, coupled with the need to scale a device, coupled with the absence of complete Phase 1 data, makes people skeptical,” said Stephen Willey, an analyst at Stifel, an investment firm.

As it tries to defuse the coronavirus crisis, the Trump administration is wagering, in part, on companies — like Moderna and Novavax — with spotty track records and penchants for self-promotion. In June, Inovio received $71 million from the Department of Defense to manufacture its battery-operated Cellectras.

Some medical experts worry that taxpayer backing for unproven companies could erode the public’s already tenuous faith in vaccines.

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Credit…John Francis Peters for The New York Times

“If you dry up trust, you’ll have almost a self-defeating proposition with vaccine uptake,” said Arthur L. Caplan, a bioethicist at the New York University School of Medicine. “The more you’re hype and less you’re reality, the more you are taking funds away from things that are cheaper, closer or both,” he added.

Inovio could provide an update on its progress with the vaccine when it releases its second-quarter financial results on Monday.

Developing vaccines is hard. In addition to coming up with an effective formula and the funding to produce it, drug makers need to navigate an obstacle course of government safety checks and rigorous scientific review on a fast enough timeline to stay competitive. The fact that a company like Inovio has never brought a vaccine to market is not necessarily an indictment of its underlying approach to creating vaccines. Otherwise, scientists say, the world would never have technological breakthroughs.

Inovio’s specialty is attempting to develop DNA-based vaccines, which use a virus’s own genes to provoke an immune response. But the company’s decade of attempts have not borne fruit.

In fact, no DNA-based vaccine has ever made it to market. While some have produced encouraging results in small animals, they have not proven effective in humans — against the coronavirus or any other disease.

Nonetheless, the scientific community continues to believe the technology is promising in part because such gene-based vaccines can be designed quickly. Companies in Korea, India and Japan are pursuing similar DNA-based coronavirus vaccines.

Inovio’s chief executive, J. Joseph Kim, has said that when the DNA sequence of the coronavirus became public in January, the company was able to immediately engineer a vaccine. Later that month, Inovio secured a $9 million grant from the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a leading funder of vaccine research.

In March, Dr. Kim — an immunologist who became chief executive of Inovio in 2009 — was invited to participate in a meeting in the White House’s Cabinet Room with President Trump and pharmaceutical executives.

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Credit…Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At the public meeting, Dr. Kim described Inovio as “the leader in coronavirus vaccine development in the world,” adding that it had its own manufacturing capabilities.

Mr. Kim said that, thanks to “our very innovative, 21st-century platform,” Inovio had been “able to fully construct our vaccine within three hours.” All the company needed now, he told Mr. Trump, was the federal government’s support to help scale up manufacturing.

Inovio’s stock shot up 220 percent over the coming days. Its market value has gone from less than $500 million at the start of the year to more than $3 billion today.

Shortly after the White House meeting, Inovio announced that it had received a $5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The money would help Inovio test the Cellectra. The devices use electrical pulses to direct DNA into patients’ cells — a technique that experts said is grounded in legitimate science.

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Credit…Inovio

Some investors, though, had grown skeptical.

On March 9, Andrew Left of Citron Capital, which is shorting Inovio’s stock and stands to profit if it declines, began publicly questioning Inovio’s approach to devising a coronavirus vaccine and accusing it of engaging in “serial stock promotion.” He later issued a report comparing the company to Theranos, the disgraced blood-testing company, and cataloging Inovio’s history of promoting and then failing to produce vaccines.

Inovio’s stock price plunged 66 percent, though it would soon soar to new heights thanks to optimism about its potential vaccine.

Days later, shareholders sued Inovio in federal court in Pennsylvania. Citing Dr. Kim’s remarks at the White House and earlier comments he made on Fox Business Network about having created a vaccine, the suit claimed that the company had “capitalized on widespread Covid-19 fears by falsely claiming that Inovio had developed a vaccine.” In April, another group of shareholders filed a separate suit in the same court, accusing Dr. Kim and Inovio’s board of mismanagement and unjustly enriching themselves, among other things.

Inovio has disputed Mr. Left’s critiques, but the company publicly clarified that it had developed a vaccine construct — essentially a road map — not an actual vaccine. Inovio has not publicly responded to the pending shareholder lawsuits.

Over the past 10 years, insiders at Inovio have sold more than $25 million in stock, according to the financial data provider Equilar. Last year, Dr. Kim was forced to sell about half his Inovio shares — causing the stock price to drop by more than a third — after he used his shares as collateral to borrow money and was caught in a so-called margin call, requiring him to immediately repay his loan.

This year, following steep run-ups in Inovio’s stock price, insiders have sold $3.8 million in shares. (Earlier this year, Inovio banned executives from “engaging in short-term or speculative transactions in the company’s securities, including pledging and purchasing company securities on margin.”)

Hoping to raise money to fund its vaccine efforts, Inovio said this year that it planned to sell some $150 million in new stock to investors.

In April, Inovio began trials of its potential vaccine, testing it on 36 people. (A volunteer in the trial said that getting zapped with the Cellectra didn’t hurt. “It just feels strange,” she said.)

On the last day of June, Inovio reported encouraging results in the 36-person trial. Inovio said its vaccine was “generally safe and well-tolerated” and generated an immune response.

But the company did not disclose any data about the magnitude of that response. Scientists said that made it impossible to gauge whether the vaccine would protect anyone.

Jeff Richardson, an Inovio spokesman, said the company would release more data soon.

When it announced the study results, Inovio also claimed that its vaccine had been “selected for the U.S. Government’s Operation Warp Speed.” But Inovio was not given federal funding to produce vaccines. Instead, its vaccine candidate had been chosen for inclusion in a preliminary study on rhesus macaque monkeys that had been organized by Warp Speed. (Vaxart, another company participating in the monkey trial, similarly claimed to have been selected for Warp Speed, drawing criticism from the Department of Health and Human Services.)

Asked about Inovio’s claim to be part of Warp Speed, Mr. Richardson said: “It depends on what you call Warp Speed.” He declined further comment.

At the White House, Dr. Kim had talked up Inovio’s manufacturing capabilities. While the company does manufacture its Cellectra, it has relied on another company, VGX International, to manufacture its vaccine candidate.

Now, Inovio and VGX are in a legal fight. In June, Inovio sued, claiming that VGX was refusing to share technology needed to produce the Inovio vaccine with other companies and was endangering public health. The case, along with a countersuit by VGX, is pending in state court in Pennsylvania.

In court filings, VGX accused Inovio of stealing trade secrets and challenged its claim that there is a public interest in Inovio’s work.

“Although the Covid-19 pandemic is horrible, Inovio is unlikely to win the race for the vaccine,” VGX lawyers wrote. Despite Inovio’s years of work, “it has never developed an F.D.A.-approved product.”

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Pentagon Asks to Reconsider Awarding Huge Cloud Contract to Amazon

SAN FRANCISCO — The Defense Department said on Thursday that it would re-evaluate the awarding of a $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft after sustained protest from Amazon, which had contended that it lost the deal because of potential interference from President Trump.In a legal brief filed to the Court …

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Trump Administration Considering Halting Sales of Aircraft Parts to China

The Trump administration is considering halting to China the sale of an aircraft engine produced in part by General Electric, two people familiar with the discussions said, part of a broader effort to limit the flow of technology there that could one day give Beijing an economic and security edge.

Top Trump administration officials will discuss whether to prevent the sale at a cabinet meeting on Feb. 28, these people said. That meeting will encompass other restrictions on China, including whether to proceed with a rule change that would further curtail the ability of Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant, to have access to American technology.

The aircraft license review was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The Trump administration has been increasingly wary of China’s economic and military ambitions, including a strategy to fuse its defense and commercial economies known as civil-military fusion.

Chinese industrial plans like Made In China 2025 have promoted dual-use technologies like aviation, automation and information technology to benefit both the Chinese economy and its military abilities.

China’s effort to develop airplanes on par with international competitors like Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier have long fallen short.

Instead, CFM, the jet-engine joint venture of General Electric and Safran of France, has been providing engines to China for years as part of that country’s effort to build up its jetliner industry.

The United States licenses for the joint venture to ship engines to China date to 2014. The most recent license was issued in March 2019. The licenses are for engines used in test-flight programs by the Chinese aircraft maker Comac. Each license is for a few engines, a model called the LEAP 1C.

The Commerce Department had been reviewing the joint venture’s license, but the decision on whether to continue allowing the technology to be sold to China has now been kicked up to cabinet members.

The plane that would use the CFM engines is scheduled to go into passenger service in 2021.

China, aviation experts say, has been able to make most of the individual components for advanced jet aircraft. But the bigger challenge is integrating complicated technologies into complex mechanical and digital systems for engines and avionics.

That integration, they say, is more difficult to build or reverse engineer, and copy.

But officials in the Trump administration and elsewhere fear that China might eventually develop the ability to reverse engineer G.E.’s technology.

Concerns have risen among officials in the National Security Council, the Defense Department and the State Department about whether the United States should be supporting China’s efforts to develop indigenous aircraft.

Stopping such licenses, however, would be a big financial hit to companies like G.E.

Officials also plan to discuss at the Feb. 28 policy meeting whether to expand the scope of their restrictions on Huawei.

The administration placed the company on a blacklist last May that prevented products made in America from being shipped to the country. But many of Huawei’s suppliers are global companies, and companies like Micron and Qualcomm instead switched to selling the Chinese company products from their overseas operations.

The rule change would clamp down on shipments of products made overseas with American components, so that only foreign-made products with less than 10 percent of American parts could be shipped to the company, down from 25 percent of specific types of restricted content before.

Some officials in the Defense Department had pushed back against those changes, arguing that they could undermine American technological development by cutting down on a vast source of revenue that the tech industry depends on to fund its research and development. The American military buys much of the technology that goes into military devices from the private sector.

But recently, other Pentagon officials including Mark T. Esper, the defense secretary, and John C. Rood, the under secretary of defense for policy, spoke up to overrule those objections, with the support of some officials in the Commerce Department.

On Friday, Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, introduced legislation that would accomplish the same change.

“We know Huawei is supported and controlled by the communist regime in Beijing, which continues to violate human rights and steal our data, technology and intellectual property,” he said. “Companies in the United States should not be allowed to sell to Huawei, and my legislation will further restrict their ability.”

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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Judge Halts Work on Microsoft’s JEDI Contract, a Victory for Amazon

A federal judge in Washington ordered Microsoft on Thursday to halt all work on a $10 billion cloud-computing contract for the Pentagon, in a victory for Amazon, which had challenged the awarding of the contract.

In a sealed opinion, the judge, Patricia E. Campbell-Smith of the Court of Federal Claims, ordered work to stop on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project, known as JEDI, until Amazon’s legal challenge was resolved. The 10-year contract was one of the largest tech contracts from the Pentagon, and Microsoft was set to begin work on it this month.

The decision adds to the acrimony surrounding the lucrative deal, which was a major prize in the technology industry, and ratchets up the legal battle around the transformation of the military’s cloud-computing systems. Amazon had been seen as a front-runner to win the JEDI contract, but the Department of Defense awarded it to Microsoft in October.

Amazon protested and said the process had been unfair. The internet giant claimed that President Trump had interfered in the bidding for the contract because of his feud with Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive and owner of The Washington Post. The Post has aggressively covered the Trump administration, and the president has referred to the newspaper as the “Amazon Washington Post” and accused it of spreading “fake news.”

“This is all setting the stage for a major court fight between Amazon and Microsoft, with the D.O.D. caught in between,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst for Wedbush Securities who has been tracking the JEDI contract. “It’s a political football that’s being kicked around.”

Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s vice president of communications, said in a statement on Thursday that the company was “disappointed with the additional delay” but that it believed “we will ultimately be able to move forward with the work to make sure those who serve our country can access the new technology they urgently require.”

“We believe the facts will show they ran a detailed, thorough and fair process in determining the needs of the warfighter were best met by Microsoft,” he added.

Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a Pentagon spokesman, said it was disappointed by the decision, which has “unnecessarily delayed implementing D.O.D.’s modernization strategy and deprived our warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need.” He added that the Defense Department was “confident in our award.”

Amazon did not return a request for comment.

When Microsoft was awarded the contract, the Defense Department was explicit that the bidding process had been correctly executed. “The acquisition process was conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations,” it said at the time. “All offerors were treated fairly and evaluated consistently with the solicitation’s stated evaluation criteria.”

In public, Mr. Trump has said there were other “great companies” that should have a chance at the contract. But a speechwriter for former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a recent book that Mr. Trump had wanted to foil Amazon and give the contract to another company.

In December, Amazon filed its legal challenge against the awarding of JEDI, saying that Mr. Trump used “improper pressure” on the Pentagon at its expense. The company also argued that its cloud-computing services were superior to Microsoft’s and that it was better situated to fulfill the contract’s technical requirements.

Since then, Amazon has escalated the battle. The company asked the court this week to let it depose Mr. Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Amazon argued that hearing from them was crucial to determine if they had intervened against it in the contract. Mr. Esper had recused himself from the contract award decision in October, citing his son’s employment at IBM, one of the early bidders on the JEDI contract.

“The question is whether the president of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the D.O.D. to pursue his own personal and political ends,” an Amazon spokesman said at the time.

The Pentagon said it was strongly opposed to Amazon’s deposition request. Microsoft said Amazon “only provided the speculation of bias, with nothing approaching the ‘hard facts’ necessary” to demand them.

In another court filing this month, Amazon argued that an injunction was necessary to prevent it from losing the profit it could earn from the contract.

JEDI “will transform D.O.D.’s cloud architecture and define enterprise cloud for years to come,” wrote Kevin Mullen, an attorney representing Amazon in the case.

The JEDI contract has also been in the spotlight because it is viewed as crucial to the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize its technology. Much of the military operates on computer systems from the 1980s and ’90s, and the Defense Department has spent billions of dollars trying to make them talk to one another.

Mr. Ives, the analyst, has said that landing the JEDI contract put Microsoft in a position to earn the roughly $40 billion that the federal government is expected to spend on cloud computing over the next several years.

On Thursday, Judge Campbell-Smith also required that Amazon pay a $42 million deposit that the court will hold in case it later determines that the injunction was wrongfully issued and that Microsoft is owed damages. Amazon must submit a plan for offering the money to the court by next Thursday, and it must agree to redactions to the judge’s order no later than Feb. 27 so that it can be made public.

The preliminary injunction was a “prudent decision” given the complexities of the deal and the monetary stakes, Mr. Ives said, and the $42 million demanded from Amazon would not be a burden for the company.

“It’s less than a rounding error relative to their treasure chest,” he said. He added that he expected Microsoft to prevail in the deal.

Thomas Gibbons-Neff contributed reporting.