ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Welcome to HANNITY & COLMES. I’m Alan Colmes. We get right to our top story tonight.
Earlier this evening, Sean had the chance to sit down with Rush Limbaugh’s attorney, Roy Black.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Roy, now that this new information has come to light in the Rush Limbaugh case, this evidence is — in the case that you have been making now, since the beginning of this case, it is now overwhelming and incontrovertible as it relates to Rush Limbaugh being singled out because of who he is. Can you please explain the case of the judge in Palm Beach County.
ROY BLACK, RUSH LIMBAUGH’S ATTORNEY: Yes, Sean. And we’re not here to criticize what happened with the judge’s matter. In fact, we think it was handled properly, but it does put things in perspective. The judge was on the bench for about 15 years, for the last eight of which he admitted being addicted to OxyContin. He then went into rehab. There was never any criminal investigation. When he came back from rehabilitation and found out that he was disabled due to psychiatric disorders, and he was retired with his full pension.
There was never any seizure of his medical records. There was no criminal investigation, even though, for eight years, while he sat on the bench, adjudicating people’s cases and making decisions in their lives, there was never any kind of investigation. But he was allowed to retire. And I’m not criticizing what they did.
BLACK: But now to go after Rush, who is not a public official.
BLACK: Who admitted that he had a dependency problem and went into rehabilitation, to do a criminal investigation against him and to seize his medical records just shows how outrageous this is.
HANNITY: But what we’re really talking about here, Roy, is a double standard in the application of the law. And obviously, Rush is political inasmuch as he gives opinions every day for three hours a day, the most listened to talk show host in America.
The Palm Beach County prosecutor, Barry — what is it — Krischer, is a Democrat. He is up for re-election. And the way he handles this case, this judge, I think, should greatly affect the way he handles all cases, if there’s an equal application of the law, no?
BLACK: Well, Sean, that’s one of the most important constitutional principles that we have, that people are entitled to equal protection of the laws. It should not matter who you are or how much money you have, what your political party is or how famous you are, everybody should be treated the same.
And what really offends lawyers, and what offends me personally — and I think this is one reason even the ACLU has gotten involved here — is to treat Rush different because of who he is and the opinions he expressed is totally against our democratic system.
HANNITY: Well, I guess the point here is, why didn’t the prosecutor in the case of Judge Schwartz, you know, get his prescription records? Why didn’t he go to his doctor’s office, if it’s equal application of the law?
The judge had been addicted for eight years. They didn’t go on a fishing expedition in this particular case. He got rehab, as a lot of Hollywood celebrities have in the past, a lot of sports stars have in the past. And usually they’re held up in the community as somebody who has done a good thing. They’ve gotten their life together, et cetera, right?
BLACK: Not only that. But you would think that people who hold public positions would be set to a higher standard than a private citizen like Rush. Take, for example, the Democratic state Senator Mandy Dawson.
BLACK: She was arrested in a pharmacy, trying to pass a forged prescription. And in fact she was only arrested because she said she was too important to be arrested because she was a state senator.
BLACK: Demanded to talk to the chief of police, saying that they couldn’t arrest her because of who she is. Even with that, they arrested her. But then let her go to rehabilitation, which I think is the proper thing to do, and subsequently dismissed the case, never requiring her to plead guilty to any felonies.
HANNITY: But there was one additional thing in the case of Senator Mandy Dawson. I’ve been doing a lot of reading in this particular case here. She was arrested. She was actually, literally caught in the act, and correct me if I’m wrong, of forging prescriptions. There has been no case of Rush being caught doing anything, period, except the woman that apparently got some plea-bargain and was paid a lot of money to make up a story, correct?
BLACK: Absolutely. We don’t have Rush being seized with any kind of illegal medication or using forged prescriptions or anything like that. In fact, it’s not even an accusation that he’s done that. They’re doing some type of historical investigation, hoping to find something to pin on him. But with the state senator, she was in the pharmacy, caught red-handed, having changed and forged the prescriptions, and then accusing the police and telling them they were going to get fired if they dared arrest her.
HANNITY: She created quite a scene, as I understand it from different reports that came out. She was arrested, pled not guilty and she then got a treatment program. And then the charges were dropped after, though — and this is a great distinction here — she was caught in the act of forging prescriptions in that particular case?
BLACK: Absolutely. And you would think that these two public officials, if anything, would be held to a higher standard than a private citizen, although both the public officials were allowed to go to rehabilitation and no punishment at all. And I’m not saying that’s wrong. I think that’s the right thing to do. But why is Rush being treated differently…
HANNITY: It’s unbelievable.
BLACK: … a private citizen who has admitted his problem because of medical problems. And now he is being subjected to this long, months-long investigation, just searching for something to charge him with. And I think the only basis, the only reason, is because of who he is.
HANNITY: I want to reiterate one point, Roy. We brought this up the last time you were on the program and now we have these new developments here. Rush has had failed spinal surgery and has a series of medical setbacks over a series of years. And he was at a point where he had to make a decision to go for a operation that would have gone through his throat and his vocal cords.
Now, this is how I make my living, also. I don’t know if I could have gone through that operation, either. The pain medication, which was prescribed, was given to him originally so he could get up out of bed every morning. It seems that in every report I read that is never put in context.
BLACK: Not only that, Sean. But anyone who has suffered from chronic, intractable pain knows what this is like. You cannot live a normal life without pain medication. And there’s a number of people, millions of them in this country, who have particularly spinal or back problems where an operation will not solve the problem. They’re going to suffer through pain through all of their life. And the only way they can lead a normal life is to take medication.
And let’s face it. Sometimes when you take this medication for years, you may become dependent on it.
HANNITY: Look, I agree. And I know people that this has happened to in my life, Roy. And I think a lot of our audience does as well. And I want to point out Rush has never been arrested, found in possession of anything illegal. We’re talking about a prescription drug problem for a real medical issue he was dealing with here, in spite of the overwhelming amount of biased media that’s been out there against him, I would argue because of his conservative point of view.
But here’s — I think all liberals should be upset about this — why should anyone have to give up their civil rights, their right to their private medical records, their right to their confidentiality with their doctor, to prove their innocence? Is that not what’s happening here?
BLACK: Absolutely. And you say are liberals concerned? They are. That’s why the ACLU and all of their members have joined in our appeals saying that this is such an outrageous invasion of privacy. And they’ve even admitted in the brief that just was filed on Monday, they don’t have any evidence of a crime. They want to look into his medical records, hoping to find something, in order to make a case against him. And they put that in black and white in their brief. And I think it shows exactly what their motive is here.
COLMES: We’ll show you more of Sean’s interview with Roy Black right after the break.
HANNITY: And here’s more of my exclusive interview from earlier tonight with Rush Limbaugh’s attorney, Roy Black.
HANNITY: Roy, I wanted to go back to the issue of confidentiality and the issue of not only the double standard that we’re talking about and the application of the law. But every citizen ought to have the right to private medical counsel and our own medical records without having them seized without any evidence whatsoever, which has not happened in any other case that I know of in Palm Beach County. What is at risk? What are we talking about being at jeopardy for all people here?
BLACK: Sean, there are a number of things at concern here. No. 1, people have to believe when they talk to their doctor about some of the most private and embarrassing things they could ever discuss anywhere, that that information will remain confidential. If you no longer believe that, you can no longer talk to your doctor in confidence.
Secondly, when you a case like this, when you know they’re just searching for something to accuse you of or to leak, can you imagine giving them medical type information in the hands of people like this, and what they could do with it? To me, that’s one of the most frightening specters here.
HANNITY: I agree. And I think we all ought to have the right, which I guess is even why the ACLU, which I don’t often agree with, is right in this particular case. But I guess the evidence that this is really a smear campaign to hurt Rush, too. As originally we heard this there was going to be a money laundering aspect to this, a drug ring aspect to this. Then the issue of doctor shopping came out. In fact, when they seized his prescription records, the affidavits for the warrants, the officers said that they contained evidence, quote, of ten felonies, Roy. But in the brief the state attorney filed with the appeals court yesterday, they admit they got nothing. Quote, “It says the state will not be in position to know if they can charge anything until the records have been revealed.”
And the point that I’m trying to make, if they said they had enough for ten counts, yet now they admit that they don’t have anything in their own brief, doesn’t that prove it’s politically motivated?
BLACK: Well, it certainly is a smear campaign. There’s no question they’ve gone out of their way to try to discredit Rush. They don’t have the evidence to bring a case. And by the way, I want to make it clear here, because a lot of people are confused about this, there is no charges. He’s never been arrested, never been charged with anything. He has only been the victim of a smear campaign and leaks from the state attorney’s office.
HANNITY: Yes. It’s frankly stunning. And I think it’s a case — Do you see any end in sight here? Or are they just going to hold on until the end of the election? I mean, was this to get through November to try and hurt Rush’s reputation?
BLACK: Well, we have a sneaking suspicion they want to keep this and drag it on until November in some attempt to help silence Rush. But we’re hoping that when the appellate court looks at this, they’re going to come down hard on it and hopefully end this.
HANNITY: Am I missing anything else here, Roy? Because these are stunning developments in this case. Is there anything else?
BLACK: Yes, the only other thing I wanted to mention, Sean, is that I picked up this very engrossing book at my local bookstore. And I want to tell you, I really enjoyed reading it. It’s really a good-looking guy on the cover.
HANNITY: Yes, well, it’s good for dart practice at home. But we’re very proud. No. 1 on “The New York Times.” And I’m glad you got the book. And Roy, I’ve got to tell you something. You’re standing up for principles beyond Rush here, and that is our civil liberties, our right to privacy, and our right to equal application under the law in this case.
And what is happening here is one of the — I tell you something, how the liberals in Palm Beach can put up with this is outrageous, also. They ought to be as outraged as both you and I are.
BLACK: Yes, and I think people of goodwill think the same way. And we’re getting a lot of support from the entire political spectrum.