JOE SCARBOROUGH: As you know, the fight over Rush Limbaugh’s right to privacy continues. Rush’s attorney filed papers in Florida court, and he’s accusing the district attorney of illegally seizing his medical records. But Rush is getting help from a surprising source, the ACLU. Now, I asked Limbaugh’s attorney, Roy Black, whether Rush was being a hypocrite for taking help from a group that he has slammed for years.
ROY BLACK: Of course, Joe, he’s not taking their legal assistance. The ACLU on its own asked the court if it could file a brief about the privacy issues involved. It’s not as if they are there trying to help Rush out, except they’re interested in the legal and the constitutional rights involved, so that’s why they’ve joined in the litigation.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, in your filing you said, quote, “The medical records were secretly seized by prosecutors without notice to Mr. Limbaugh as required by the Florida constitution.” Do you still believe that the prosecutor in Palm Beach County is engaged in a witch hunt against Rush Limbaugh?
BLACK: Well, we know that more than ever. I mean evidence mounts every day where we see the actions that they take. In fact, we recently — or someone in the press recently did a public records request and received phone messages back and forth between their spokesman and the news media planting false stories in the press about Rush. So this has been a smear campaign from day one by them. We’re trying to expose that. The medical-records issue is one of the most important issues in the case. And now we’re before the appellate courts to argue the constitutionality of their actions.
SCARBOROUGH: Why is that issue so important? Why is the medical records release so important to you and to Rush Limbaugh?
BLACK: Well, not just important to me and to Rush, but it’s important to all the citizens of Florida. You can imagine, just think about all the things in your life you have told to your doctors, all the tests they have taken, the x-rays, the surgeries, the examinations they’ve done on you; all of that detail goes into your medical records. Could you imagine if your enemies who wanted to discredit you could get those records in their hands and could use it against you at their will? So this is a frightening thing. Florida, because we have a constitutional right to privacy, enacted very strong safeguards to prevent prosecutors and others from getting their hands on these records. The prosecutors in Rush’s case bypassed all those protections and seized the records, we believe illegally and unconstitutionally, and that’s how important this appeal is.
SCARBOROUGH: Roy, earlier Rush Limbaugh had this to say about the DA’s use of his medical records. He said, quote, “It’s tough for me to talk about it. I can, but it’s uncomfortable. You know, so much of what you people are angry about concerning the campaign, I can give you some lessons. I can share with you the same anguish as it relates personally of a search-and-destroy mission that is underway here.” But what would you say to Rush Limbaugh’s critics, though, who say if you’re going to investigate a case, if you’re going to investigate somebody for doctor shopping, you’ve got to look at all the doctor’s records?
BLACK: Well, you have to remember how this started. They first accused him of drug trafficking, then they went on to money laundering; now they’ve latched on to doctor shopping. This is not a legitimate investigation. They’re dusting off any statute they could find in the books to try to pin it on Rush because of who he is. If this was a legitimate investigation, they would have only asked for those portions of the medical records which dealt with his prescriptions.
SCARBOROUGH: Since Americans, millions of Americans have been reading about all these charges against Rush Limbaugh, has the Palm Beach prosecutor filed a single charge against your client?
BLACK: No, they haven’t filed a single charge. All that they’ve done is be an anonymous source to various news media that wants to write critical stories about Rush. Not a single charge has been brought here, and I don’t believe they have the evidence to bring a charge.
SCARBOROUGH: Roy Black, months and months after all of these leaks began and all of these harmful investigations began, again, not a single charge against your client. I agree with you. You know, if you got something on the guy, charge him. If not, stop dragging his name through the mud.
BLACK: I agree. And, Joe, thank you for allowing me to discuss this, because if they only got the one side of it that’s leaked in the papers, it would be very damaging to somebody. And at least through your good graces and others’, we’re able to put forward the other viewpoint.