May 1, 2018

Sarah Huckabee Sanders kicked off the first press briefing since the White House Correspondents Association rallied around her for not being persecuted by Michelle Wolf by lying about the seizure of Trump's medical records from his former doctor, Harold Bornstein.

A reporter asked whether it was tantamount to "a burglary" with Keith Schiller leading the way, and what Sanders thought about that.

"Once again," she huffed, "It would be standard procedure for the president -- newly elected president's -- medical records to be in possession by the White House medical unit...Those records were being transferred over to the White House medical unit as requested."

There is disagreement about that. As Josh Marshall notes, patients are not entitled to a doctor's original medical records. They can obtain copies with the proper HIPAA releases, but the originals stay with the original physician.

Schiller brought a team of other people, presumably also government employees. They also brought the top lawyer from the private company (The Trump Organization) from which Trump has at least purportedly cut all ties. They seem to have entered the office and simply confiscated what they wanted to confiscate. We don’t know whether Schiller came in in a heavy-handed way but did ask permission to take Trump’s records. Maybe he did. But this is a government employee. Did they search Bornstein’s files on their own? Did that allow them to see other people’s private medical records? There’s a lot of pretty big questions here, some HIPAA related, others potentially criminal.

Why are we not at all surprised?

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