HANNITY: Let’s start at the beginning. How is Rush doing? America knows he went into rehab. He had a problem. He had physical ailments that led to an addiction to prescription medication. Went into rehab, how is he doing?
BLACK: Well, he’s doing very well.
I will tell you, Sean, one of the most interesting parts of representing him is just watching him in action. People have no idea how hard working and how highly focused this man is. Just the preparation for his show is enormous.
So I’ve really enjoyed working with him, watching him and learning from him.
HANNITY: Yes. Look, he’s a good friend of mine. I’ve known him for a lot of years. He’s been very helpful to me in my career, as I think I’ve told you in the past.
I want to just talk for a second, before we get into all the legal issues — and this case is unprecedented in so many different ways. And I think there are very serious legal and civil rights issues at stake here.
But he had an issue, real medical conditions. He had failed back surgery, and he had spinal cord problems, correct?
BLACK: It’s more than that. He had his cocsic (ph) bone removed. He’s had shots in his spine. He’s had numerous surgeries, none of which have been successful.
And he has what’s called intractable pain. It’s where you have constant overwhelming pain that has to be treated, and it cannot be solved by surgery.
And there’s a lot of people in this country who suffer from that. And you know, there are people who criticize Rush, but they’ve never suffered pain like this. And you know what? In all our lives at some time we’re going to be suffering from pain, and we ought to be a little more understandable about this.
HANNITY: Not only that, if I understand it correctly, I think there are, what, 35 states or so, somewhere in there, that they recognize this condition, people that suffer from chronic pain.
And they have statutes on the book which allow doctors to prescribe extra medication to deal with these circumstances, correct?
BLACK: Absolutely. And Florida is one of those states. It’s called the intractable pain statutes. It’s to protect doctors who prescribe medication for patients who can get relief no other way than from prescription pain medication.
HANNITY: And not only — did they not have — for him to deal with one of his back issues and spinal cord issues, to operate, wouldn’t they have had to have gone through his throat?
BLACK: Yes. That’s one of the alternatives that he has, but you can just imagine, if you had to face that with his type of job or your type of job.
BLACK: It’s certainly something you wouldn’t want to be looking at.
So it’s a very serious matter. He’s suffered pain for many, many years. And because of that he’s been taking prescription pain medication because that’s the only way to get relief from the pain.
HANNITY: Welcome back to a special edition of HANNITY & COLMES. We’re live from New Hampshire. And I’m Sean Hannity.
We continue now with my interview with Rush Limbaugh’s attorney, Roy Black.
HANNITY: The main issue here, is there a double standard in the application of the law? Are they treating Rush Limbaugh differently because he’s a celebrity, because he’s a conservative? Is there a political motivation here?
BLACK: Well, there’s no question that he has been singled out for treatment that nobody else I’ve known ever has been subjected to.
There have been dozens upon dozens of well-known people who have admitted to having prescription pain addictions or prescription medication addictions, who have never had police officers go in and seize their medical records. Rush Limbaugh is the only one who’s had that happen.
It just so happens he lives in Palm Beach County, which I know you’re familiar with, Sean, and he has what are perhaps minority political opinions in that community.
And I can’t tell you what the reasons are this is being done. But to me, that seems pretty obvious that he has been singled out for treatment because of who he is and what he says.
HANNITY: But think of the long-term ramifications of this, Roy. You’re one of the top attorneys in this country here.
If, in fact, this becomes standard practice — and I have never heard of a case like this. I know medical associations are weighing in on Rush’s behalf because of the potential danger here; even the ACLU recognizes the potential danger here.
But how would anybody ever consider going into treatment if in fact, they knew that these records would be subject to government oversight or government review, if you will? Right?
BLACK: Not only that, but how many people would go to their physician to discuss personal matters like this? So, I mean, it’s important to keep that privilege.
And you’re right. We see people all the time admitting that they have a dependence because of various reasons.
BLACK: We want them to come forward and admit it. We want them to seek treatment. After all, the idea is to help the person, not to turn them into a criminal.
So if we treated everybody like we did Rush Limbaugh, we would stuff our prisons full of people who are otherwise law-abiding citizens.
HANNITY: You know, I’ve been following this case really closely, Roy, and what has amazed me as I’ve been watching this unfold is, I see a lot of things being thrown out there in this case. The first thing we heard is, that there’s some sort of drug ring that Rush Limbaugh is involved in. The next thing we heard was, he withdrew his own money from his bank. He must be guilty of money laundering. And now this issue, the latest issue that’s come up, is, quote, “doctor shopping,” which has never been prosecuted before in Palm Beach County.
Where is this information coming from? Why are we hearing these changing allegations?
BLACK: Sean, you ask an excellent question. The reason this came out is we know there was someone in the Palm Beach County state attorney’s office, their spokesperson, who was planting these stories in the media about Rush to discredit him.
And you’re right. It started out, he was a drug trafficker, imagine that. Then going to money laundering. Now doctor shopping.
They have told me, candidly up there, that they have gotten a lot of feedback from people in Palm Beach County that they want something done against Rush because of who he is. They have hundreds of e-mails, and so they’re not going to stop until they find something.
And I’ll tell you what. This doctor shopping accusation is even more absurd than the others.
So, I mean, they’re just stretching to find anything they can to keep this going, to try to discredit him, to try to embarrass him, which of course, they’re doing. And eventually, to try to do something to hurt his career.
HANNITY: If our medical records aren’t private, Roy, that’s scary to me.
BLACK: It really is.
HANNITY: If the government can just go in and take your private medical records and then maybe have somebody else, for political reasons, leaking that information to the press.
BLACK: Well, it’s really dangerous, Sean, when you think about it. You could send police officers into your doctor’s office, seize your records.
And you can imagine, and there was no limit to the records, by the way. Every record the doctor has, all four of these doctors, was seized and turned over to the prosecutor so they can leaf through it and see all the kinds of medical problems he has.
And look, I don’t have to go through a litany of possible problems people could have. But can you imagine what could be used from medical records from people who have various kinds of treatments or problems in their life and all of this got out, how easy it would be to destroy somebody from getting their medical information.
So this is serious stuff.
HANNITY: I only thought they used search warrants when they thought records would disappear or would be destroyed or something.
Isn’t this standard operating procedure to get a subpoena, not a high profile attack on somebody’s — doctor’s personal records here. I mean, was there any risk that somebody was going to take these records? Or again, is this a double standard being applied here?
BLACK: Well, Sean, not only is it the usual practice to do that, but Florida law requires it to be done by a hearing first, and then a subpoena. There’s absolutely no basis for using a search warrant.
And not only that, but at least with one of the doctors, they seized all his records and didn’t give him copies. So he can’t even go back and get treatment from the doctor.
So this is a really serious problem. That’s why the ACLU has come in. Not to help out Rush, but because they see this as a blatant and egregious violation of our rights. And all of these doctors and patient groups are now joining in, because this is so serious.
HANNITY: There’s a lot of individual liberty issues, I think, involved in this case, Roy, but just to reiterate here. Rush has never been charged with a crime, correct? And do you expect he will be?
BLACK: He’s never been charged with a crime. I don’t think there is any evidence he committed a crime and I don’t expect he’ll ever be charged with a crime. His biggest problem is trying to rebut these allegations that are being leaked to the press.
HANNITY: I can’t think of — can you think of a single other instance of a celebrity — It’s quite common, really, where there has been an addiction problem of some kind.
Usually people go into rehab, they come out and usually they’re applauded for their bravery, their courage, encouraged to get on with their life. And everybody seems to wish them well.
I can’t think of a case where they’ve been prosecuted, can you?
BLACK: Not only that, but I’ll give you an excellent example. We just had a state Senator here in Broward County, who was a Democrat who forged prescriptions.
And as soon as she went through a rehabilitation program, the investigation and the case was dismissed against her. So to say there’s a double standard is fairly obvious what’s going on here.
HANNITY: Explain. You have gone on record. And when this case first broke with the “National Enquirer”, there was a former housekeeper of Rush’s that we now have discovered sold her story, correct, to the “Enquirer,” sold it for money?
HANNITY: a lot of money, as I understand it?
BLACK: We’ve heard up to $250,000.
HANNITY: And you have stated that this woman and her husband were trying to blackmail Rush Limbaugh?
BLACK: What happened is when she worked in his house, she discovered that he was addicted to pain medication. She and her husband went to him and said, “We’re going to sell this story to the ‘Enquirer'” unless you pay us.”
He wanted to report this to the FBI. He was told by his advisers, look, if you report this, the story is not going to be about them, because nobody cares them. The story is going to be about you.
And by the way, these people were demanding $4 million to keep quiet. So for a period of time he paid them, until finally he said, “Enough is enough. I don’t care what you do.”
Then they go to the state attorney and get immunity, no less. They get immunity for blackmailing him, and then by getting immunity, they could turn around and sell the story and profit again with the “National Enquirer.”
I just think it’s outrageous that people like this get treatment like that, and Rush gets treated the way he does.
HANNITY: And there was a prior conviction, I understand, with one of them?
Black: Right. David Klein, the husband, was previously convicted of trafficking in cocaine.
HANNITY: that’s unbelievable. So the issue, they — you couldn’t even bring charges of blackmail for drug dealing in either case if it was true, because they were given immunity in this case. That’s pretty amazing story about our legal system. I think.
BLACK: They wouldn’t give immunity to them to testify about anybody else, I can’t imagine that would ever happen. So you ask, is there a double standard when it comes to Rush Limbaugh? You’re damn right there is.
COLMES: That was Rush Limbaugh’s attorney, Roy Black. Roy Black. More of that on Wednesday night’s HANNITY & COLMES.