BLITZER: Roy Black, thanks very much for joining us.
BLACK: Good evening, Wolf.
BLITZER: Let’s get to the issue at hand. I guess this has been going on now for two years or so. The allegation made by these prosecutors — no charges have been filed — that he was doctor shopping in effect, that Rush Limbaugh had 2,000 pills. He got prescriptions from four doctors over a six month period. Is that true?
BLACK: No. Let me make this very clear, Wolf, because there’s been so much misreporting about this story. What happened is that Rush was treated by four doctors but two of whom were partners and they prescribed something like 90% of the pain pills. What happens: it’s over a period of 212 days. We’re dealing with something like 1750 pills; comes out to eight a day. This is hardly overwhelming. When people report this story, they put this big figure in there but don’t mention over what period of time this is. The other two doctors prescribed pills once or twice or three times at the most and this is sort of… You know, it’s blown so far out of proportion, it is sad.
BLITZER: Did the other doctors, the two other doctors know about the prescriptions he was getting from the other two doctors?
BLACK: Well, the doctors certainly know about each other because they’re all in different fields. We had: two doctors were handling his pain situation; the other two doctors were handling his hearing. So I don’t want to go into all the details about his medical treatment since we’ve been trying to keep that private, but they’re all treating different things for him and that’s hardly unusual today that patients see multiple doctors, particularly specialists for particular problems.
BLITZER: If Rush Limbaugh has nothing to hide and has done nothing wrong, what’s the problem with letting the prosecutor speak to the doctors and go through all the records?
BLACK: Well, Wolf, that’s an excellent question. A lot of people ask this all the time. You know what? We have a right of privacy in this country that I think is important for us to hold onto. I mean, we could let prosecutors and police into our bedrooms, search our computers, watch us having sex. We could let them do all these things, but then we would have a police state. We would no longer have a democracy. I think it’s very important to fight these privacy battles — and Rush Limbaugh has taken on this battle of privacy with your doctor, and I think it has really been a public service for him. Not only for himself but everybody else who wants their medical records and medical treatment kept private and not to be disclosed in the press or with the police or prosecutors or anyone else who has no business being there.
BLITZER: In this most recent ruling, which was a mixed bag, the Fifth Circuit Court of Florida ruling December 12th, it said this: “The Florida evidence code does not recognize a separate doctor-patient privilege. Likewise there is no recognized common law privilege of confidentiality as to physician-patient communications.” It’s not like attorney-client privilege, is it?
BLACK: No, Wolf. I’m glad you asked me this question. That’s one of the reasons why I took up your invitation to appear on your show, because there has been so much confusion about this opinion. This opinion clearly comes down on our side. What the Court says is there’s no common law privilege — of course, and we all knew that but there is a statute. From the beginning we have been litigating this statute and what the court says: I cannot stop the prosecutors from subpoenaing whoever they want because they have a statutory right to do that, but I can limit them in what they can ask, and they cannot ask any questions about his medical condition, nor can they ask any questions about the discussions he had during the course of his treatment. So all the things that they want to ask these doctors, all the privacy matters they want to get into, the court said ? unequivocally — they cannot do it.
BLITZER: Rush Limbaugh has made a very serious charge against the prosecutor as recently as yesterday. Let me put it up on the screen. “It’s what the legal process has become. You know, people trying to criminalize political enemies, and it’s taken on a life of its own.” Does he feel that the prosecutor in this case is political and is going after Rush Limbaugh strictly for his own political views?
BLACK: Well, Wolf, let’s look at what went on in this case. You see so many celebrities who announce that they are going into rehabilitation, that they had a prescription pain pill problem. Everybody applauds them — particularly when they’re successful, and many of them go multiple times into rehabilitation. Rush Limbaugh announced on his show he was going into rehabilitation, did it for five weeks over two-and-a-half years ago and has totally solved his problem. Yet while everybody else is congratulated for that, we now have prosecutors who have spent two-and-a-half years going after his medical records, subpoenaing his doctors, doing all these kind of things. I think that is unprecedented — and, of course, Rush thinks it’s because of who he is that he’s been targeted. But I will tell you this: In my experience this intense an investigation over somebody who went voluntarily into rehabilitation I think is totally unprecedented.
BLITZER: We’re out of time, Roy, but do you believe this prosecutor, James Martz, is political?
BLACK: Well, I really don’t want to get into a political mud fight over this. I can just tell you my experience. I think it is time to end this investigation. This man has totally turned his life around regarding his pain problem. I think he should be congratulated on it like everybody else, and he ought to be able to go back to his radio show and exercise his right under the First Amendment.
BLITZER: Roy Black, the attorney for Rush Limbaugh. Thank you very much for joining us.
BLACK: Thank you, Wolf.