New information regarding Sen. Frist stock trade should be investigated by Senate Ethics Committee

October 13, 2005



New information regarding Sen. Frist stock trade should be investigated by Senate Ethics Committee

Dear Chairman Voinovich and Vice Chairman Johnson:

Common Cause filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee against Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) on September 27, 2005. To date, we have not received any response from the Committee nor seen any indication that the committee intends to initiate an investigation.

Common Cause called on the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether Senator Frist violated Senate ethics rules by directing trustees to sell his HCA, Inc. stock held in a blind trust. Additionally, we asked the Committee to clarify how the numerous communications between the senator and trustees of his blind trust - during a period when the senator was working on legislation of interest to HCA - did not qualify as a conflict of interest at the time.

According to the Senate Ethics Manual:

Any member or staff member of the Committee shall report to the Committee, and any other person may report to the Committee, a sworn complaint or other allegation or information, alleging that any Senator, or officer, or employee of the Senate has violated a law, the Senate Code of Official Conduct, or any rule or regulation of the Senate relating to the conduct of any individual in the performance of his or her duty as a Member, officer, or employee of the Senate, or has engaged in improper conduct which may reflect upon the Senate.

Our letter of September 27 cited published reports alleging that Senator Frist may have violated a rule of the Senate relating to his conduct in the performance of his duty.

Read the letter (PDF)


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