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Limbaugh: Keep my med records private

From Susan Candiotti and Rich Phillips


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MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Embattled radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh is asking a Palm Beach County, Florida, court to keep his medical records sealed from prosecutors investigating whether he illegally purchased prescription painkillers.

The records were seized from two of his doctors' offices last month. The search warrants itemizing what was seized was filed in court December 4.

Two more search warrants were obtained but not executed, two law enforcement sources said.

Limbaugh's move came as prosecutors were getting ready to file a motion of their own to examine the records, as required by Florida law, prosecutors said.

Limbaugh has admitted an addiction to prescription painkillers that he says he is trying to break.

He went off the air for five weeks in October to enter a drug treatment program.

In his court pleading Tuesday, Limbaugh's lawyers argued that Limbaugh's doctor/patient confidentiality should be protected.

"No citizen would wish these highly personal details to be held by minions of the state to finger through at their leisure. Nor would any sane person wish his medical diagnosis and medical prescriptions to be widely published on television shows, tabloid newspapers, Web sites and the like," Limbaugh's court motion states.

Limbaugh's court pleading says he has "already suffered the indignity of watching a list of his doctors and medications dramatically leafed through on air by television reporters."

The talk show host's attorneys have asked for a court hearing within three days.

His attorneys wrote the court they want to prevent investigators and the public from looking at the records.

According to court documents and prosecutors, a money-laundering task force is looking into whether Limbaugh went "doctor shopping" to obtain prescriptions to satisfy his addiction to painkillers. Doctor shopping -- getting several doctors to write prescriptions for the same medicine in the same time period -- is a felony under Florida law.

Law enforcement sources say investigators also are examining Limbaugh's bank withdrawals to see if he was hiding possible illegal payments for drugs his housekeeper alleges she illegally sold Limbaugh.

In court documents, investigators say Limbaugh obtained about 2,000 pills over five months, sometimes getting multiple prescriptions less than a month apart.

Limbaugh has insisted he has done nothing illegal and is not part of any drug ring.

Spokesman Mike Edmundson of the Palm Beach County state attorney's office said he has no comment on Limbaugh's motion.

Edmundson referred to an earlier statement by State Attorney Barry Krischer in which he said Limbaugh is still under investigation, adding "Limbaugh is presumed innocent at this time."

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