Monday, September 26, 2005

Sen. Bill 'Martha Stewart' Frist

Sen. Frist is in trouble. The big questions is, what did he know, and when did he know that which he isn't suppose to know.
Frist, R-Tennessee, received regular updates of transfers of assets to his blind trusts and sales of assets. He also was able to initiate a stock sale of a hospital chain founded by his family with perfect timing. Shortly after the sale this summer, the stock price dived.
OH, but that isn't what he has said in the past.
Another political problem for Frist: His own statements suggest he had no knowledge of his blind trust investments.

Asked in a television interview in January 2003 whether he should sell his HCA stock, responded, "Well, I think really for our viewers it should be understood that I put this into a blind trust. So as far as I know, I own no HCA stock"

Frist, referring to his trust and those of his family, also said in the interview, "I have no control. It is illegal right now for me to know what the composition of those trusts are. So I have no idea."
What's that, "It is illegal right now for me (Frist) to know what the composition of those trusts are.".

I have to think that the Senator would be awfully careful of these types of transactions, especially considering his Presidential aspirations. His spokesman confirms:
Frist spokesman Bob Stevenson said the senator received approval from the Senate Ethics Committee before he initiated the stock sale. All the information Frist received complied with federal law and Senate ethics rules, Stevenson added.
Considering how the justice department zeroed in on Martha Stewart and convicted her regardless of her ignorance of the transaction, what kind of pressure will they put on Frist. Frist may be in a similar situation, and a fading political future may become the least of his worries.

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