Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), bought Amazon call options just six weeks before the Pentagon announced it was canceling a multi-billion dollar contract with Microsoft and starting a new one that opened a door for Amazon’s participation.
The Biden Pentagon on Tuesday abruptly announced it was canceling its multi-billion JEDI cloud services contract with Microsoft and starting a new one that Amazon could compete for.
Amazon had been favored to win the JEDI contract after the idea for a single cloud infrastructure was first conceived in 2017, but it was ultimately awarded to Microsoft in 2019. Amazon sued, arguing they lost due to then-President Donald Trump’s personal dislike of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. A Pentagon inspector general report found that Trump did not interfere in the contract.
The Pentagon said the new contract, “Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability” or JWCC, would be “multi-vendor” and “multi-cloud” and explicitly named Microsoft and Amazon as the two top contenders:
The Department intends to seek proposals from a limited number of sources, namely the Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) and Amazon Web Services (AWS), as available market research indicates that these two vendors are the only Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) capable of meeting the Department’s requirements. However, as noted in its Pre-Solicitation Notice, the Department will immediately engage with industry and continue its market research to determine whether any other U.S.-based hyperscale CSPs can also meet the DoD’s requirements. If so, those Department will also negotiate with those companies.
During a conference call with reporters following the decision, the Pentagon’s Acting Chief Information Officer John Sherman said although it is not guaranteed, both Amazon and Microsoft will “likely” be awarded parts of the new contract.
After the announcement — which coincided with the first day of Amazon’s new CEO Andy Jassy — Amazon stock prices closed on a record high of $3,675.74, topping its previous closing record of $3,531.45 on September 2, 2020, according to MarketWatch. It was the company’s best single-day percentage gain since November 4, 2020, the day after President Joe Biden’s election, according to the report.
An Amazon spokesperson welcomed the decision in a statement: “We understand and agree with the DoD’s decision. Unfortunately, the contract award was not based on the merits of the proposals and instead was the result of outside influence that has no place in government procurement.”
“We believe this is a clear positive for Amazon and potentially negative for the third-party data centers,” Raymond James analysts wrote in a note about the Pentagon’s decision, according to MarketWatch. “We believe the shift to Amazon further cements its position as a leading cloud provider, particularly to government agencies.”
Just over a month ago, on May 21, Paul Pelosi bought call options worth between $500,001 and $1 million. On that day, he also bought Apple call options worth between $100,001 and $250,000. The transactions were disclosed in the House speaker’s latest financial disclosure report filed on July 2.
Breitbart News reviewed Pelosi’s financial disclosure reports dating back to 2009 and found that the speaker’s husband has a history of purchasing Amazon call options around JEDI program-related milestones in the past.
The Pentagon under then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan first embarked in mid-2017 to look for a cloud solution that would enable the Defense Department to access and share data faster.
The Pentagon released its final request for proposal (RFP) for the JEDI program on July 26, 2018. Pelosi’s first purchase of Amazon call options came a day after, on July 27, 2018. He would purchase more call options again on October 12, 2018, worth as much as $6,000,000.
Then, on July 12, 2019, a federal judge cleared the way for the Pentagon’s awarding of the contract to either Microsoft or Amazon the next month. Oracle America had sued the Pentagon after it had been excluded from bidding on the contract, but the judge rejected its claims and gave the greenlight for the contract to be awarded in late August. Amazon’s attorneys had defended the contract in the case.
Pelosi’s next purchase of call options worth as much as $1,000,000 came just 10 days later.
Four days later, Trump intervened and said he would look into whether the JEDI contract was biased toward Amazon. The Pentagon awarded the contract to Microsoft several months later in October 2019. Amazon filed a lawsuit, arguing that the Trump administration had interfered in the process and won a restraining order to block Microsoft from beginning work on the project.
Pelosi’s next purchase came weeks after a flurry of positive developments for Amazon. On April 28, 2021, Amazon beat out a motion to dismiss its case. A few days later, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said on April 30, 2021, that the Pentagon was reviewing the JEDI contract. On May 21, 2021, Pelosi purchased more Amazon call options worth as much as $1,000,000.
The Pentagon’s decision — which was sudden, yet not unexpected — put an end to the legal wrangling between the Pentagon and Amazon.
Breitbart News reached out to the speaker’s spokesperson but did not receive a response by publication.
Separately, Fox Business reported the purchase of Amazon call options, as well as a purchase of Apple call options and the exercising of Alphabet call options, came just a week before the House Judiciary Committee passed antitrust legislation that would target Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook.
Pelosi’s spokesperson told Fox Business, “The speaker has no involvement or prior knowledge of these transactions,” adding, “The speaker does not own any stock.”