COLMES: Well, it’s been months since radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh admitted and sought treatment for his addiction to the pain killer oxycontin. Prosecutors haven’t charged him with any crimes yet, but now they’re facing scrutiny for their tactics.
The Landmark Legal Foundation is asking the Florida Bar to investigate the Palm Beach County state attorney and his chief assistant for releasing letters between their office and Limbaugh’s attorneys.
Have prosecutors unfairly targeted the radio legend?
Joining us now, Mark Levin, the president of the Landmark Legal Foundation.
Mark, good to have you back on the show. Welcome back.
MARK LEVIN, PRESIDENT, LANDMARK LEGAL FOUNDATION: My pleasure, thank you.
COLMES: How are you doing?
Well, the Palm Beach County state attorney’s assistant, Kevin Selvig, has said there should be no controversy because Rush Limbaugh’s radio network mentioned a possible settlement before any letters were released.
Is that an accurate statement, a fair statement?
LEVIN: No. The accurate statement is that they created a false record. They actually created a memorandum to the file which explicitly misstated what they were told by the Florida Bar and the attorney general’s office, as a cover for releasing confidential communications.
That’s what they did. That’s why we filed the ethics complaint, and that’s why they’re currently under investigation.
COLMES: Do you think this was politically motivated?
LEVIN: Well, it certainly wasn’t motivated by justice or reasonable thinking, so yes, it’s a partisan witch-hunt. They’re trying to smear Rush. They’re trying to silence him. This is a very serious First Amendment issue.
You know, there is a Democrat state senator and a Democrat Florida judge, both of whom got addicted to pain killers, both of whom went into rehabilitation, both of whom were applauded as courageous. And off they go.
Rush Limbaugh, they leak false information about money laundering investigations. That was a lie. About part of a drug ring. That was a lie. And now this doctor shopping, which is also a lie.
COLMES: OK. The woman you mentioned, the state senator, was Mandy Dawson, a Democrat from Fort Lauderdale. She was charged 18 months ago with a felony. She got treatment, and the charge was dismissed. But she was arrested.
And the assistant state attorney Paul Driver says he’s a conservative and a Rush Limbaugh fan.
LEVIN: I thought he said he was a Republican and a Rush Limbaugh fan.
COLMES: He could be both.
LEVIN: Well, that’s possible. I’m telling you the facts. I don’t care if he’s a Republican, an independent or a communist. The bottom line is this.
She was not technically charged with a crime. The bottom line is, I wasn’t aware that she was indicted. I wasn’t aware that she was arraigned. But even so, the fact of the matter is, she was patted on the back and off she goes.
There weren’t leaks about her money — let me add this — there weren’t leaks about money laundering or drug rings or any of the smear tactics that this office is using, Palm Beach County prosecutor now.
HANNITY: And by the way, welcome back, my friend. It’s been a long time since we’ve had you on the program. Let me start with this…
LEVIN: I wanted to wait until I gained 25 pounds and lost the rest of my hair.
HANNITY: You look great.
I want to talk about the Palm Beach County prosecutor, Barry what’s his name, Krischer? He’s a Democrat, first of all. He’s up for reelection, correct?
LEVIN: That’s correct.
HANNITY: The next question I want to ask about him, and I want to go to this particular judge who apparently, there are published report about an addiction, an eight-year addiction. His name is Jonathan Schwartz, Judge Schwartz. He’s a Democrat also?
LEVIN: That’s correct.
HANNITY: And this is the same county?
LEVIN: It’s the same county.
HANNITY: Same problem?
LEVIN: And understand — same problem. And understand, this is a judge, not a talk-show host, a judge. And he was given actually a couple of opportunities to clean up.
HANNITY: And voluntarily, and then when he cleaned up, he was praised by the community. There was no prosecution, no leaks. His doctor’s office was not invaded the way they did to Rush Limbaugh’s doctor’s office.
So then one has got to conclude here that the only reason this is happening, this is selected prosecution and a political witch-hunt because this Democratic prosecutor doesn’t like Rush’s views. No?
LEVIN: Well, what else can explain it, because for 10 months they knew Rush was addicted to pain killers? They only acted after the story was sold to the “National Enquirer” by individuals who were given immunity, pushers or dealers who were given immunity by this prosecutor by this prosecutor.
This prosecutor is a bumbler. This prosecutor gives immunity to the distributors and is going after the person who’s gotten rehabilitation. It’s supposed to work the other way last time I checked.
HANNITY: But what’s interesting about this, too, is first the allegations that were put forward in the media, Rush’s money — laundering money because he took money out of his own bank account, which was fairly interesting to me. I thought we were allowed to take money out of our own bank account.
The second thing was, he’s part of a drug ring. That went away. They came up with the idea of doctor shopping. And then they went to his doctor’s offices and took his private personal medical records, right?
LEVIN: They got search warrants, which are typically reserved for gathering information that might disappear.
We’re talking about doctors who are reputable. We’re talking about, rather than subpoenaing them so Rush’s lawyer, Mr. Black, can get into court and fight and raise a constitutional issues, actually getting search warrants and seizing them.
And since then, the circuit court has ordered the trial court to take those records away from the prosecutor, put them under seal. That issue is on appeal.
And by the way, Rush’s prescriptions were then put on a public web site for the whole world to see every television station carried them.
LEVIN: This is what I mean by smear tactics.
COLMES: We take quick break. More on the other side of the break.
HANNITY: We continue now with the great one, Mark Levin, the president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, looking into the Rush Limbaugh case.
I want to ask you, Mark, specifically here, you know I have a radio talk show.
HANNITY: And we live and die by our sponsors here. There is a certain amount of evidence that — I’m coming to a conclusion here — the fact that they are unwilling to resolve this, the fact that prosecutors have tried to silence Rush.
They plant these stories in the media. They release the private communications with his attorney and the prosecutors, which never happens that I have heard of.
It seems like this is all about, now, hurting Rush Limbaugh and punishing him politically.
HANNITY: What can you do to stop this?
LEVIN: Now I understand they don’t just release these confidential communications. They solicit advice from the Florida Bar and the top ethics officer, the attorney general’s office, a nonpartisan lady.
They take that information. They put only part of it in a memorandum to the record, which they then release.
So outraged is — are these ethics officers that they condemn what this prosecutor has done. That’s how bad it is.
What can we do about it? Well, we better shine the light of truth on it, because I’ll tell you what. There’s no question here that as long as they can keep dragging Rush through this ridiculous investigation. I don’t know how many prosecutors and how much money they are plying on this. They’re going to hurt him and they know that.
HANNITY: Let me just point out to our audience, too, that tomorrow night on this program, Rush’s attorney, Roy Black, will be on this program for an exclusive interview with me as to the new developments in this case here.
But improperly releasing the confidential communications between the government and Roy Black — he’ll address this specifically tomorrow, Mark — that doesn’t happen.
Wouldn’t this have — If this happened often, wouldn’t it have a profound impact on our legal system, because it would in essence, would end any possibility of plea-bargaining?
LEVIN: Well, what we have here, Sean is a very Democratic county with an ultra left-wing editorial board with the “Palm Beach Post” and the “Sun Sentinel,” all of them encouraging this kind of activity.
The prosecutor received 300 e-mails from opponents of Rush, urging him to charge Rush. All of this is playing out in a political way and very few people are paying any attention to this.
COLMES: Mark, we only have a second. I just want — on privacy I’m with you. And by the way, not only am I with you on the privacy issuing, so is the ACLU. They’ve actually come to Rush’s defense here, acknowledging that’s probably…
LEVIN: I had a problem when the ACLUS tries to stop little kids from getting quality education. I don’t have a problem when they’re fighting campaign finance reform. I’m with them on that. We’re with them on this.
We pick and choose our issues, but down the line we don’t agree with them.
HANNITY: Well, Mark, thank you for what you’re doing here. We’ll have Roy Black, Rush’s attorney, on tomorrow night with an exclusive interview here on HANNITY & COLMES to deal with these new developments.