Is there anyone left to subpoena?

Two top Republicans must deal with additional ethics inquiries.

Published October 14, 2005 8:01PM (EDT)

Two high-ranking Republicans were hit with subpoenas recently, which couldn't have come at a worse time for the GOP, especially since public regard for the majority party has dropped to perilously low numbers.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to hand over documents and personal records relating to the questionable sale of his family-founded HCA Inc. stock last July. "Frist is expected to testify under oath about what he knew about the company's health in the weeks before he sold stock," the Post says.

As we noted back in September, even though Frist's stock was held in a blind trust, it was conveniently sold off before the stock plummeted back in July. Frist's spokeswoman said then that the senator had directed the trust to sell off the stock so as to avoid any appearance of impropriety, as Frist works on health-related issues and is apparently contemplating a presidential run in 2008.

Not to be outdone, Texas district attorney Ronnie Earle, the prosecutor who is overseeing the corruption investigation of Rep. Tom DeLay, has subpoenaed the former House majority leader's home and political campaign phone records. "Earle appear[s] to be trying to find out what kind of contact DeLay had with James W. Ellis and John D. Colyandro, two associates who were also indicted in the case."

By J.J. Helland

J.J. Helland is Salon's editorial fellow in New York.

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