In what appears on the surface to be a blatant example of D.C. corruption at its finest — if not jail-worthy conduct, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul reportedly purchased Amazon call options a mere six weeks prior to a Pentagon announcement that it was scuttling a lucrative contract with Microsoft and launching one from which the online retail behemoth could potentially benefit, Breitbart reported.
Earlier this week, the Biden administration revealed that it was canceling the JEDI cloud services contract with Microsoft — a deal worth multiple billions of dollars and one that had been the subject of significant rancor between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and former President Donald Trump over allegations that Trump improperly intervened to deny Amazon involvement in the work.
The announcement of the new contract, to be known as Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability, included the news that the contract would involve multiple vendors and specifically mentioned Microsoft and Amazon as likely participants, as Breitbart noted.
In response to the decision to cancel the JEDI project, an Amazon representative declared, “We understand and agree with the [Defense Department’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.”
Where things get interesting, however, is when one considers that Paul Pelosi purchased substantial Amazon call options valued at upwards of $1 million on May 21, according to financial disclosure documents required by virtue of his wife’s position in Congress.
According to Breitbart News, Pelosi financial disclosures going back more than a decade reveal a number of Amazon call option transactions occurring close to key dates in the JEDI program.
Fox Business also reported that Paul Pelosi purchased Apple call options on May 21, and soon after exercised existing call options for Alphabet shares in advance of a House Judiciary Committee decision to advance bills designed to curtail the power of big tech firms.
It is not difficult to see why Paul Pelosi’s stock bets would raise eyebrows, given what is in the works in the legislature currently led by his wife, but when asked about the appearance of impropriety they understandably create, Nancy Pelosi’s spokesperson said, “The speaker has no involvement or prior knowledge of these transactions. The speaker does not own any stock.”
Given that Paul Pelosi’s market maneuvers surrounding each of these developments reportedly resulted in gains of $5.3 million and are, at the very least, unusually well-timed to pivotal announcements from D.C., a bit of further scrutiny certainly seems warranted.