The White House is reportedly pressuring the Department of Defense to give Republican and Trump supporter funded company Rivada Networks a no-bid multi-billion dollar contract to lease the DOD’s 5G spectrum. The push was reportedly initiated by Karl Rove, who is a lobbyist and investor in Rivada, who asked President Trump to pressure DOD to grant the lucrative contract to the company. This apparent attempt to benefit a Trump and GOP donor is another instance of blatant politicization of the federal contracting process and requires further investigation.
CREW is requesting DOD documents on both internal and external communications around the Rivada contract.
Trump has repeatedly improperly interfered with federal contracting processes to advance his own political and business interests. Perhaps his most egregious instance of manipulating federal contracting processes for his own benefit was his attempt to award himself a contract to host the 2020 G-7 summit at his own Doral resort in Miami, an attempt which ultimately failed after intense public pressure even from his own party. Another instance of suspect federal contracting include the sudden influx of federal contracting given to the notorious private prison company GEO Group which has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Trump campaign. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has even sued Trump, alleging that DOD officials unfairly evaluated AWS’s proposal because of Donald Trump’s personal bias against Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos.
In addition to the billions of taxpayer dollars, the national security stakes of the Rivada contract are especially high since they will be responsible for providing an incredible amount of digital security for a division of our government most prone to cyber attacks. The public deserves to know if Trump is again favoring a company based on its political affiliations and allowing it to bypass rigorous vetting procedures.