Truth to Power

Frist, insider trading?

From the NYT:

Senate Leader Explains His Sale of a Stock That Then Plummeted

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 – Senator Bill Frist offered an explanation on Wednesday for the timing of his sale in June of his stake in HCA, the giant hospital company that his family founded, as its shares reached a peak and began a steep slide.

An aide to Mr. Frist, majority leader of the Senate and brother of the HCA chairman emeritus, disclosed the sale on Monday in an interview with Congressional Quarterly.

The senator’s spokesman, Bob Stevenson, said Wednesday that Mr. Frist “made a conscious decision to divest himself of all HCA assets” so he could pursue an ambitious agenda of health care legislation free of any appearance of self-interest.

Since joining the Senate, Mr. Frist had been dogged by accusations about conflicts of interest from his HCA holdings, including “no fewer than 19 instances” of articles or other public accusations, Mr. Stevenson said.

Mr. Frist, who has said he will not run for another term as Tennessee senator, is widely considered to be weighing a presidential bid. That may give him another incentive to put some distance between himself and the company. </i>


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