Thursday, October 13, 2005

Frist for President Part II

From the Washington Post:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has been subpoenaed to turn over personal records and documents as federal authorities step up a probe of his July sales of HCA Inc. stock, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission issued the subpoena within the past two weeks, after initial reports that Frist, the Senate’s top Republican official, was under scrutiny by the agency and the Justice Department for possible violations of insider trading laws.


The formal request for documents usually presages an acceleration of a federal probe. In Frist’s case, regulators had to proceed with caution due to his status in Congress and their mutual desire to avoid triggering constitutional objections to the release of documents. The disclosure of the subpoena comes as Democrats blasted Frist anew for his financial and personal ties to Hospital Corporation of America, a Nashville chain founded in 1968 by his father and his brother, Thomas Frist Jr. Critics yesterday seized on a report that Frist held a substantial amount of his family’s hospital stock outside of blind trusts between 1998 and 2002 — a time when he asserted he did not know how much of the stock he owned.

As Josh Marshall notes at TPM, if he’d known this was going to happen, maybe he wouldn’t have sold his soul to the nutsery on Justice Sunday.

In reality, Frist’s chances at the presidency were as remote as me being Mr. Universe. He’s been about as dynamic a leader in the Senate as a bowl of tapioca pudding, and his stumbling with the Terri Schiavo case, wherein he diagnosed her as being “semi-conscious” via videotape, put him out of the running with anyone with more than half a brain; all it did was endear him to the Operation: Rescue crowd and earn the scorn of the AMA.

So for those of you who collect presidential campaign memorabilia, you can put your Frist in ’08 stuff in the drawer next to your John Glenn and John Connolly collection.