We already published an overview of this story by Allahpundit yesterday, but the recent news about Dr. Harold Bornstein has a few more wrinkles in it. We’re speaking, of course, about Bornstein’s claim that Trump surrogates “raided” his office and seized all of the President’s medical records without his consent. 24 hours later, everyone is jumping on the story. Morning Joe led with it today, apparently so Joe Scarborough would have the chance to say “male pattern baldness” and Propecia in the same sentence with “Donald Trump.” (We’ll circle back to that little detail in a moment, trust me.)
One of the many questions being asked about Bornstein’s tale is whether any laws have been broken, and if so, by who? Ronn Blitzer, writing at Law & Crime, sees the possibility of burglary or larceny charges against the people who allegedly conducted the “raid” and even the chance of conspiracy charges for the President if he ordered them to do it.
If the allegations are true, however, they would appear to make out a case for burglary, which is defined as when a person “knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building with intent to commit a crime therein.” According to Bornstein’s account, it doesn’t seem like the men had permission to be there, the “crime therein” would be theft of the doctor’s files. Even though they are Trump’s medical records, Trump does not own them, so he can’t just send people to fetch them.
Until we have all the facts, these charges remain speculative. But since we’re all engaging in speculation, what if there was a crime committed from the other side of the good doctor’s desk? Allahpundit touched on this yesterday, but since when can doctors just talk to the press about a patient’s medical history? And when did we forget the rule about the press not talking about sensitive information which is improperly leaked? We still don’t publish the names of sexual assault victims even if they’re improperly made public initially.
If your doctor tells reporters about an STD you contracted or your treatment for substance abuse, that doctor has done something really terrible which could be very damaging to you. But if your doctor tells the press about a couple stitches he put in you after you cut your hand while doing yard work, he’s still done something really terrible. They can’t just go blabbing about your private medical information without being directed to do so by you.
So are the allegations made by Borenstein true? Beats me. Some of them certainly sound credible, such as Trump writing that letter himself. (Let’s face it… if the doctor wrote that letter he’s a medium who was channeling Trump.) Was the collection of the medical records a “raid” or a transfer of requested records? Depends whether you think the doctor is a credible professional or a guy who’s ticked off that he didn’t get the position of White House physician.
The press certainly seems to be taking the doctor seriously. But on that subject, let’s not forget how these same news outlets now citing Borenstein as a source in an important story described him when he first hit the national stage back in December of 2015:
New York Magazine: “Why exactly would Trump — a wealthy man living in a vibrant city teeming with renowned physicians — entrust his personal health to a doctor who both looks and writes like a professional wrestler?”
The New York Daily News said that Borenstein had written, “a superlative-filled statement that reads more like a Trump campaign announcement than a doctor’s clinical report”
NPR compared him to Dr. Leo Spacemen of 30 Rock, including a video of the character saying ridiculous things.
NBC News announced the Doctor’s letter about Trump’s health by including a video of Josh Earnest making fun of him.
But now everyone is treating Bornstein like the witness delivering expert testimony during a complicated grand jury hearing. I’m not saying that Bornstein’s story can’t be true. Or perhaps it’s one of those cases where there’s a kernel of truth at the bottom of the well but he’s added a lot to it because he’s angry. Since there was no police report filed when it happened and the list of witnesses is thin, we may never have a definitive answer. I simply wanted to note the startling transformation that Dr. Harold Bornstein has undergone in the eyes of the media. When he was writing a silly sounding letter about the President’s excellent health he was understandably lampooned in the press and treated like a fool. But now that he’s saying something which can be used to the President’s detriment he’s suddenly a paragon of virtue.