Monday, October 24, 2005

Frist in Trouble

From the Washington Post:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) was given considerable information about his stake in his family’s hospital company, according to records that are at odds with his past statements that he did not know what was in his stock holdings.

Managers of the trusts that Frist once described as “totally blind,” regularly informed him when they added new shares of HCA Inc. or other assets to his holdings, according to the documents.


The letters seem to undermine one of the major arguments the senator has used throughout his political career to rebut criticism of his ownership in HCA: that the stock was held in blind trusts beyond his control and that he had little idea of the extent of those holdings.

The extent of Frist’s knowledge of the inner workings of his trusts and his family’s health care company is related to a recently launched federal investigation of possible insider trading involving the liquidation this summer of Frist’s HCA stock. Within weeks of Frist’s decision to sell his holdings in June, HCA shares fell sharply because of a weak earnings report. Frist has said he possessed only publicly available and not “insider” information about the company when he directed the sale and, therefore, did nothing wrong.

If the man had any scruples, he’d resign. Oh, I’m sorry — I’m forgetting — IOKIYAR.