“It really is absurd the extent to which they just openly operate like mobsters,” notes Julian Sanchez, correctly if (big if) this account is true. Andy Levy is correct too, saying of the famous Dr. Harold Bornstein, “this is like when a ‘previously on’ shows a character from a couple seasons ago and ur like ‘oh cool they’re bringing him back'”.
A patient’s entitled to his medical records. He’s not entitled to send three guys, one of them his bodyguard and another a “large man,” to his doctor’s office and demand them now with the doctor allegedly left feeling, uh, “raped, frightened and sad” by the ordeal. If (bigggggg if) Bornstein’s on the level, what they did to get Trump’s files sounds like menacing.
In an exclusive interview in his Park Avenue office, Bornstein told NBC News that he felt “raped, frightened and sad” when Keith Schiller and another “large man” came to his office to collect the president’s records on the morning of Feb. 3, 2017. At the time, Schiller, who had long worked as Trump’s bodyguard, was serving as director of Oval Office operations at the White House.
“They must have been here for 25 or 30 minutes. It created a lot of chaos,” Bornstein said, who described the incident as frightening…
Bornstein said he was not given a form authorizing the release of the records and signed by the president —known as a HIPAA release — which is a violation of patient privacy law. A person familiar with the matter said there was a letter to Bornstein from then-White House doctor Ronny Jackson, but didn’t know if there was a release form attached.
The third man was allegedly Alan Garten, chief legal officer of the Trump Organization. Bornstein’s wife supposedly photocopied Garten’s business card. Lots of questions here: Did they threaten Bornstein directly to get him to hand over the files? Did they go rifling through his records to find them, violating other patients’ privacy? Did Ronny Jackson really sign a HIPAA release for Trump’s records or did Schiller et al. seize the files illegally? Why didn’t Bornstein say something sooner instead of waiting 15 months?
The timing is interesting. As NBC notes, February 3, 2017 was just two days after Bornstein revealed to the Times that Trump uses the hair-growth drug Propecia. In the clip below, he seems baffled that POTUS might have taken offense at having such a small medical secret revealed; evidently there’s some sort of “no big deal” exception in Bornstein’s mind to rules regarding patient confidentiality. There’s sour grapes at work here too: He says he was thrilled to watch Jackson’s VA nomination implode since he had initially hoped to be White House physician himself. When the Propecia story emerged, that went up in smoke. Maybe this is just Bornstein taking revenge, making up a story (or wildly exaggerating the actual facts) about how Trump reclaimed his medical records from him.
Given that Bornstein had already leaked something from Trump’s medical history, you can understand why POTUS might have wanted to surprise him and make sure he had no time to photocopy the records before handing them over. But that doesn’t make it legal:
Unless Bornstein is misleading people about the facts, I’m almost about to say what Schiller constitutes criminal action. He is a government official at that point intruding upon private office space and privileged materials w/o consent. https://t.co/O77Kok3GVE
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) May 1, 2018
You know who’s going to want to talk to Bornstein, I’ll bet? Michael Avenatti. If it’s true that Bornstein was implicitly or explicitly threatened to get him to turn over the records, Avenatti will want to know who the “large man” with Schiller was. Was it the same man who supposedly threatened Stormy Daniels in 2007, or does this guy maybe know who that guy was? Avenatti wants to try to tie Michael Cohen and, ideally, Trump himself back to the intimidation tactics that were supposedly used on his client. The Bornstein incident could help him establish a pattern of behavior. And if I were Trump, I’m not sure what would worry me more: Michael Cohen being under investigation by the U.S. Attorney or Keith Schiller potentially being deposed by Avenatti.
1:30 p.m. isn’t too early to start drinking, is it? No, I don’t think so either.
JUST IN: Trump's former doctor says Trump bodyguard, lawyer "raided" his office, took medical files, @NBCNews reports in an exclusive.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 1, 2018