WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Rush Limbaugh's (search) attorneys accused prosecutors of breaking the law when they seized the conservative radio commentator's medical records in a search for evidence he illegally bought prescription painkillers.
The lawyers argued in court documents filed Tuesday that authorities should have first notified Limbaugh and given him a chance to challenge the seizure, rather than using search warrants to remove the records from his doctors' offices.
Limbaugh, his attorneys and the American Civil Liberties Union (search) have argued the seizure violated his right to privacy and the confidentiality between patients and doctors. They want a state appeals court to rule that the records should remain under court seal.
Investigators seized the records in November as part of a probe into whether Limbaugh illegally went "doctor shopping" to obtain pain pills. The practice refers to visiting several doctors to receive duplicate prescriptions of controlled narcotics.
Limbaugh sought treatment for his addiction in October and has not been charged with a crime.
Prosecutors had no immediate comment Tuesday, but Palm Beach State Attorney Barry Krischer has repeatedly insisted that investigators have followed the law and "scrupulously protected" Limbaugh's rights.
The investigation is on hold until the appeals court rules.
Limbaugh told listeners to his afternoon radio show Tuesday that the investigation "is all political, disguised as a legal case" and that it was a "search-and-destroy mission."
He accused prosecutors of leaking details about the investigation to plant "false stories in the press."
"How many of you people think I was drug trafficking? How many of you people think I was laundering money? Pure leaks," Limbaugh said. "And there's nothing to it."
Prosecutors have drawn criticism for other actions in the case. Last month, the state Attorney General's office questioned the motives of Krischer and his staff after they released letters from Limbaugh attorney Roy Black about negotiating a guilty plea.
Krischer's office began investigating more than a year ago after Limbaugh's former maid told them she sold Limbaugh "large quantities of hydrocodone (search), Oxycontin (search) and other pharmaceutical drugs" for years. She provided investigators with e-mails and answering machine recordings to support her claims.