Thursday, July 11, 2002

The Daily Howler makes a pretty persuasive argument that Shrub really did not benefit from inside information when he sold his Harken stock. This was a result of the examination of SEC documents obtained in 2000 by a Freedom of Information Act request on the 1993 investigation. To quote the law professor who examined the SEC documents, Stephen Gillers of NYU, "We’re dealing with investigators here who are not political appointees." [emphasis mine] I have to emphasize that part because several (including, unfortunately, Smokin' Joe Conason) have been saying quite the opposite about the SEC's investigators.

All in all, the insider trading finding has nothing to do with what happened with the funny business with Aloha Petroleum that Paul Krugman wrote about.

There's something ironic about all this, though. If the FOIA request had been made on the SEC documents after Shrub was installed in the White House, the request may just have been turned down by the Shrubbery, as many FOIA requests regarding W have. To extend that, we'd just have the memo that was out long ago saying that Bush was not exonerated by the SEC probe, and nothing in the public record would contradict that.

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