"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ratcheted up its probe of Senate Majority Leader Bill First's sale of HCA Inc. shares, granting agency staff more legal power to obtain evidence, people with direct knowledge of the inquiry said. The SEC authorized a formal order of investigation, which allows the agency's enforcement unit to subpoena documents and compel witnesses to testify, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the order hasn't been made public. A formal order requires the approval of at least one of the SEC's five commissioners.
A Texas grand jury's recent interest in conspiracy charges could lead to last-minute criminal indictments — possibly against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay — as it wraps up its investigation Wednesday into DeLay's state political organization, according to lawyers with knowledge of the case. Conspiracy counts against two DeLay associates this month raised concerns with DeLay's lawyers, who fear the chances are greater that the majority leader could be charged with being part of the conspiracy. Before these counts, the investigation was more narrowly focused on the state election code.