Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox will recuse himself to avoid any appearance of impropriety in the agency's investigation of Cox's former congressional colleague, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

The SEC is investigating Frist's sale of HCA Inc. stock. The country's biggest hospital chain, founded by Frist's father and brother, HCA has seen a number of fluctuations in its stock price since 2000. Frist's own stake in the company, held in a blind trust, has fluctuated in value, though not always in accordance with the stock market, according to regular financial disclosure statements.

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