Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Anyone Notice This Was A Crime?

In what is thus far one of the most bizarre stories of 2018

In February 2017, a top White House aide who was Trump's longtime personal bodyguard, along with the top lawyer at the Trump Organization and a third man, showed up at the office of Trump's New York doctor without notice and took all the president's medical records.

The incident, which Dr. Harold Bornstein described as a "raid," took place two days after Bornstein told a newspaper that he had prescribed a hair growth medicine for the president for years.

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.

Twenty-four hours or so after this was first reported, it has become an old story. It shouldn't be.

Several questions arise.  Jeremy Samuel Faust (not this Faust) suggests a few when he writes

Bornstein’s account of the incident raises several questions, such as why Bornstein would compare the incident to the experience of being raped (he did) and whether it would be possible to make up a story that better underscores male fragility (it’s not). It also raises a set of questions about how this entire mess intersects with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA.

Bornstein seems a little conflicted. In bad taste, he describes the incident as akin to rape, yet did not report it to police.  Presumably, it was because his office was illegally entered- and not at night, when there would have been no danger to any individuals, but rather during the day, when his secretary was present and vulnerable to physical harm. It's more than enough to put the fear of God, or Donald Trump (which he believes is redundant), into almost anyone.

Nevertheless, victim Bornstein refers to the event as a "raid," a term applied to legal entry of a structure or (less often) a gathering by law enforcement. It appears though, that it more resembled entering without breaking or burglary and either theft or robbery. (State laws vary.)

Individuals have gone to prison for less.  According to Bornstein, the culprits appear to have been then-presidential bodyguard Keith Schiller, one of President Trump's attorneys, and a man unknown to the doctor.  Nonetheless, we have not heard whether any weapon was involved, any force applied, or any suggestion of force made.

These are not inconsequential questions, as any lawyer would note- were any lawyer paying much attention to this story.   Nor is there much curiosity about the identity of Trump's (alleged)  attorney, nor sufficient curiosity about the tactics involved, which appear somewhat similar to the guy who on behalf of Donald Trump reportedly threatened Stormy Daniels in a Las Vegas parking lot. Were we not so indelicate, we would suggest that it bears some resemblance to the tactics of organized crime.

While any connection between these two (likely) crimes is largely ignored, there is at least a little interest in the possibility that Dr. Bornstein is going public now in reaction to the Dr. Ronny Jackson affair. The obvious parallel betwen the false reports of the President's health signed by Bornstein in 2015 and Jackson's effusive and dubious comments four months ago have been under-emphasized.

There is, however, much speculation about what the thugs were after.  It's hardly coincidental that they acted two days after Dr. Bornstein revealed to The New York Times that he had prescribed for Trump rosacea, used for a common skin problem, a statin for high high blood cholesterol and lipid levels, and Propecia, commonly prescribed for male pattern baldness.

It's virtually inconceivable Trump was angry that he was now known to take medication to grow hair. Steve M. notes that the medical records stolen would have revealed that Trump, while under the care of Bornstein, had been prescribed by another doctor a drug (including amphetamine derivatives) for "metabolic inbalance," in this case for excess weight.  Although it was designed to be taken for a maximum of 25 days to avoid dependence, the patient appears to have taken them for approximately eight years.

That would have made Donald Trump a drug  addict, but in the distant past. The guy who suffered no loss of political support after boasting that avoiding an STD during the 1980's made him "feel like a veteran" would likely have taken no hit from a revelation that he was a drug addict some 28 years earlier.

However, Propecia. Among the many side effects of the drug is "impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm." If medical records were released or leaked and included an admission from the patient that he had suffered "impotence" or "trouble having an orgasm," Trump the ultimate playboy would have been very, very embarrassed.

Maybe that had nothing to do with the incident- not denied by anyone- described by Dr. Bornstein, although it's clear that there is something in the medical records the President of the United States of America wants to remain under wraps.

Moreover, when Donald Trump's bodyguard is involved in an apparent felony committed because he (and probably the lawyer) believed the President of the United States of America wanted it done, it should be news. And if it's news, there are a lot of questions which need to be asked and answered, and not only these obvious ones.

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