I am patiently waiting for the seriousness of the latest “only Trump” revelation to truly sink in.
Last February, the president’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller, accompanied by a lawyer for the Trump Organization, Alan Garten, and a third unidentified man entered the office of ex-Trump doctor Harold Bornstein MD unannounced, and took all of Trump’s original medical files. The doctor described the process as a “raid” and that he felt “raped.” The “rape” thing is entirely over the top and offensive to any woman who has been the victim of a sexual assault. But, that does not mean that the doctor would be wrong to note feeling “violated.” What happened was a crime, a felony, to be precise, and though the incident is in the news, the seriousness is not yet apparent. Sometimes it takes a couple days, especially events this bizarre.
By law, every healthcare provider is required to keep an original copy of all medical records on site. The provider owns the record, the patient owns the information. Thus, the patient must be provided a copy of his or her records on demand:
Although the original medical record IS the property of the physician’s office who created it (as stated above), the patient is allowed to “inspect, review and receive a copy of his or her own medical records and billing records” held by health plans and healthcare providers covered by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. A provider cannot deny a patient a copy of his or her medical records, even if the patient has not yet paid for the services rendered.
Smokey-eyes Sarah Huckabee-Sanders tossed aside questions about the raid as “normal procedure” for the White House Physicians office to obtain the medical records of the president upon coming on duty. Ms. Huckabee-Sander is as truthful as usual, which means she’s lying through her skull, yet again. Standard procedure would be to email a copy of the records. Standard procedure would be to call ahead of time and say that people would be coming at a precise time to pick up copies of the records, would they please have them boxed up, a check will be provided for the costs. Standard procedure would be to politely walk into the office, apologize for the interruption, and politely request copies of the records, right away, as it concerns the president, and apologize again for the inconvenience, and reimburse the office for the cost. It is not “normal procedure” to send your bodyguard (for godsake), a lawyer, and someone unknown to Dr. Bornstein, to show-up unannounced and demand every original be handed over in what the doctor described as a “raid” and walk out with the only original medical records in existence.
Without being overly dramatic, what Dr. Bornstein describes, constitutes several felonies. First, given that the doctor called the action as a “raid.” it is likely that the doctor and staff first asked the “team” to leave, or – at a minimum – the team was not welcome. Burglary is commonly defined as “illegally entering a building with the intent to commit a felony.” If the Trump team resisted a request to leave, they remained in the building illegally. They removed medical records that belonged to Dr. Bornstein, that is theft, a felony, thus they intended to commit a felony while on the premises all along. Moreover, Dr. Bornstein no longer has access to the originals, and we have no confirmation that the originals ever showed up at the White House, so where might they be? Destroyed is at least as likely as delivered. We do know that the records are not in the one place the law demands they be, within the office of Dr. Bornstein. We can also guess that, because Donald Trump happened to be president at the time, that he ordered the entire raid, making him an accomplice and co-conspirator.
Is this okay? Are we so numb to the “new normal” with Trump as president, that this no longer registers as “beyond odd.” I chastised the doctor for calling it akin to rape, only because nothing is akin to rape except rape. It IS. however, a very serious violation, and I imagine it would certainly shake up the staff and doctor. Who knows what threats may have been made to ensure police were not called? But, again, is this okay? Are we okay with the President of the United States acting like a thug, committing crimes over something as superficial as hair pills? (I might add, this is only the going “assumption,” it is possible that there is very very serious stuff in those records, stuff that the public should know, and Trump only reacted to the “hair pill” thing under the belief that if the doctor released that information, he could release anything. The trouble is, now we don’t know, and we will never know, this is why originals are to always be maintained with the provider, so we would know).
If Trump will go to these lengths to silence a doctor who could “ruin” Trump’s reputation with respect to medications, what might Trump do to keep quiet someone who really held something over him? What if someone did not have medical records but financial records of illegal “loans” or money-laundering, and that someone was the head of another country? What if another country’s intelligence agency had a tape of you asking two hookers to pee on a bed used by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama? What might Trump do to “maintain control” of that situation? Would Trump wholly take-over the foreign policy of an entire nation to serve his own personal purposes, make an express choice to not enforce certain sanctions Congress commanded by a 98-2 vote?
Why not? He is willing to risk ordering a “raid” that in any context is a crime. If you don’t believe me, pay three of your friends to attempt the same thing with your doctor, and see if you’re not arrested within 24 hours.
That Trump is beyond bizarre as president is now a given, but – and I swear this is true – I am still, on a weekly basis, amazed at Trump’s ability to shock me with his pettiness, vindictiveness, and distilled self-centered-nature. Though the media may be too busy to commit the resources (there are other serious crimes afoot), and Congress wouldn’t care if Trump shot that person on 5th Avenue in Times Square, what happened in that office last February was a felony, and would get a normal president impeached. If you doubt it, try imagining the Republican response had Obama sent a bodyguard and lawyer to pull this stunt, what about Hillary?
Just add it to the charges. My god, we’re all just so fk’d.