Rush Limbaugh Not Yet Off the Hook

Published July 06, 2006

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This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," July 5, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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JOHN KASICH, GUEST HOST: In the "Factor Follow-Up" segment tonight, Palm Beach prosecutors have decided not to file charges against Rush Limbaugh after finding a bottle of Viagra in his luggage prescribed to a third party.

Last month, Limbaugh was detained for three hours at a Palm Beach airport and publicly embarrassed after returning from the Dominican Republic.

Now prosecutors have decided the pills were legitimately prescribed, but why Limbaugh may not be off the hook yet, we're going to talk about.

Joining us now from West Palm Beach is Michelle Suskauer, a criminal defense attorney.

All right Michelle, where does this stand at this point in time? I understand they're going to go down to Dade County and talk to people. What is this all about?

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, Rush Limbaugh is on an 18-month pretrial intervention agreement with the state attorney's office in Palm Beach County. And he had certain conditions that he had to fulfill.

No. 1, he had to go for some drug treatment. He has to give a sizeable donation, which I think he may have already done, and he certainly can't get in trouble with the law. And that's really sort of the sticking point that we find ourselves in. Because as we all know, he was stopped at the Palm Beach Airport by customs in possession of a bottle of Viagra that was in a third party's name.

So the Palm Beach County state attorney's office could have reviewed this, which they did. And they decided that they were not going to upset the agreement, but sort of at this point pass the buck to Dade County, where the doctor actually wrote the prescription from, saying, listen, if you guys want to do something with it, you can go ahead, but we're not going to.

KASICH: Pretty bizarre to me because the state's attorney's office said: "The medication contained in the subject pill bottle was legitimately prescribed to the suspect by his physician."

I mean, what's strange, Michelle, you know — first of all, a guy comes in a private plane. They all know who he is, OK? So he spends three hours being held up, and they find a bottle of Viagra.

Now, we know he was in trouble because of a pain medication. Viagra is not a narcotic. So I mean, come on now. What the heck would they hassle this guy for over Viagra?

SUSKAUER: Well, first of all, let's just back up for a second. Whether you're on a private plane or a commercial aircraft, you still go through customs if you're coming in from out of country.

KASICH: Sure.

SUSKAUER: He was in the Dominican, so he went through customs. Now, the reason why he was held for three hours wasn't because he was Rush Limbaugh. It was because they did a search of his private stuff.

KASICH: Right.

SUSKAUER: And they found that he was in possession of this Viagra that wasn't in his name.

KASICH: But Michelle, it's Viagra. It's not a narcotic.

SUSKAUER: You're right. You're right. You're right. And I agree that nothing is going to happen to him, other than this public lashing that he got.

KASICH: But why?

SUSKAUER: This is public embarrassment.

KASICH: Is this a political assassination? Is that what this is? Is this designed...

SUSKAUER: No. I really don't think it's a political assassination. Just like I didn't think that the first case was a political assassination.

KASICH: But wait a minute.

SUSKAUER: Because he got a very good result.

KASICH: Yes, but he did nothing wrong here, and now they're sending it to south Florida to take a look at the same thing that the state's attorney in Palm Beach said he didn't do anything. I mean, come on.

SUSKAUER: Wait a second. I don't agree with you. I don't agree that he did nothing wrong. Listen, I think ultimately what happened is probably...

KASICH: Michelle, the law in Florida says that a physician is able to prescribe medication in a third-party's name if all parties are aware and a doctor documents it, which is exactly what's happened, and the guy wasn't carrying narcotics. He's got Viagra. If that's not political, what is?

SUSKAUER: That's really amazing to me. Well, but that's really amazing to me, because during my review of the statutes, there was nowhere that I could find the privacy exception to prescription fraud. You have to write a prescription in the individual's name.

KASICH: Michelle, the state attorney doesn't — there's only one problem with what you're saying. First of all, you're a defense attorney, and you're acting like a prosecutor.

SUSKAUER: Well...

KASICH: No. 2 is — wait a minute — is that the state's attorney said he didn't do anything wrong. Come on.

SUSKAUER: And I think — and I'm telling you as a defense attorney...

KASICH: I mean, who let this story to the media? Who got the story out there, huh? I mean, the first time they find somebody, they hold somebody, customs, they leak it to the media so they can embarrass somebody? Come on. Don't you see this?

SUSKAUER: Listen, as a defense lawyer, I don't think anything should happen to him, and I don't think the pretrial intervention agreement should be disturbed. But what I'm saying is, it's just pretty arrogant of Rush Limbaugh, when he knows he's on the radar screen...

KASICH: To not break the law?

SUSKAUER: ... to carry around a prescription in someone else's name.

KASICH: All right. Michelle, I think Florida has decided they can do it. But, listen, you've done such a good job I'm going to talk to Rush and see if he'll hire you. Maybe I can get you on his team and we can knock this stuff off. It's a little silly.

Michelle, thanks for being with us.

SUSKAUER: Thank you.

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