“‘I think really for our viewers it should be understood that I put this into a blind trust,’ Frist replied [in January 2003.] ‘So as far as I know, I own no HCA stock.’…Two weeks before that interview, M. Kirk Scobey Jr., a Frist trustee, informed the senator in writing that one of his trusts had received HCA stock valued at between $15,000 and $50,000.” Fifteen trustee letters obtained by the Post, describing sales and purchases of HCA stock, indicate Frist’s been lying about his “blind” trust for years. Poor Catkiller…I bet Iowa suddenly seems a million miles away…
“‘The one that people are most worried about is Abramoff because it seems to have such long tentacles…This seems to be something that could spread almost anywhere…and that has a lot of people worried.’” As Rove testifies for a fourth time before Patrick Fitzgerald’s inquiry into Plamegate and Boss DeLay’s phone records are subpoenaed by Texas DA Ronnie Earle, the WP surveys the political fallout from the many GOP corruption scandals currently in play.
The Frist SEC probe moves along, with a subpoena forcing the Senate Majority Leader to turn over documents related to his HCA holdings. In addition, it now appears Catkiller made tens of thousands of dollars from HCA stock outside of his “blind” trust, through a partnership controlled by his brother. So much for avoiding a conflict of interest.
Sorry, Catkiller, no help there. New SEC Chairman Christopher Cox recuses himself from the probe into Bill Frist’s suspicious stock dump, leaving four commissioners — two Dems and two GOP — to head the inquiry. Update: A blind trust? Not hardly. “Documents on file with the Senate show the trustees for Frist and his immediate family wrote the senator nearly two dozen times between 2001 and July 2005. The documents list assets going into the account and assets sold. Some assets have a dollar range of the investment’s value and some list the number of shares.”
By way of Looka, did Catkiller Frist pull a Martha? “Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a potential presidential candidate in 2008, sold all his stock in his family’s hospital corporation about two weeks before it issued a disappointing earnings report and the price fell nearly 15 percent…To keep the trust blind, Frist was not allowed to know how much HCA stock he owned…but he was allowed to ask for all of it to be sold.” Update: The Post has more: “The notion that you have a blind trust but you can tell your trustee when to sell stock in it just doesn’t make any sense. It means you have a seeing eye trust and not a blind trust. It’s ridiculous.” Update 2: The SEC steps in, and subpoenas start flying.