The indictment unsealed today focuses on a married couple, one of whom made a big splash a few years ago as the US Army’s first trans officer. Buzzfeed published this glowing report on Maj. Jamie Lee Henry’s transition back in 2015:
Jamie Lee Henry is a doctor and major in the Army’s Medical Corps. She also is a transgender woman.
In holding an interview with BuzzFeed News, Henry is the first known active-duty Army officer to come out as transgender. She also is, to her knowledge and to the knowledge of LGBT advocates, the first and only active duty service member who has changed her name and gender within the United States military…
“People say, ‘Is this a choice?’ The choice is being healthy or sick. I can continue living a sick life, or I can live a healthy life,” she said simply, declaring that she has chosen health.
It’s also improving her work as a doctor, she said. “I find my trans experience has allowed me to relate to people, because all of us suffer, and I could relate to people’s suffering. I’m able to comfort people that feel isolated and lost and alone and broken. I can sit down with them and look them in the eyes, and say, ‘I can walk with you through this. I care about you, and I mean it.’”
The other figure indicted is Maj. Henry’s wife Anna Gabrielian. Gabrielian is an anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins. Together, they decided they wanted to do all they could to help Russia in its war against Ukraine. They reached out to the Russian embassy and offered to deliver private medical information on US soldiers and people associated with the US government. They were later contacted by someone who claimed to be from the Russian embassy but who was in fact an undercover FBI agent:
On August 17, 2022, Gabrielian met with the UC at a hotel in Baltimore. During that meeting, Gabrielian told the UC she was motivated by patriotism toward Russia to provide any assistance she could to Russia, even if it meant being fired or going to jail. Gabrielian proposed potential cover stories for meeting the UC and stressed the need for “plausible deniability” in the event she was confronted by American authorities about meeting with the UC. Gabrielian also told the UC that, as a military officer, Henry was currently a more important source for Russia than she was, because he had more helpful information, including how the United States military establishes an army hospital in war conditions and information about previous training provided by the United States military to Ukrainian military personnel. Gabrielian arranged to meet with the UC and Henry later that evening.
At about 8:10 p.m. that evening, the indictment alleges that Gabrielian and Henry met with the UC in the UC’s hotel room. During the meeting, Henry explained to the UC he was committed to assisting Russia and had looked into volunteering to join the Russian Army after the conflict in Ukraine began, but Russia wanted people with “combat experience” and he did not have any. Henry further stated, “the way I am viewing what is going on in Ukraine now, is that the United States is using Ukrainians as a proxy for their own hatred toward Russia.” Henry and Gabrielian allegedly offered to provide the UC with private medical records from the United States Army and [Johns Hopkins] in order to help the Russian government. During the same meeting, Gabrielian demanded that if she were put at significant risk of arrest, she wanted her and Henry’s children to, “have a nice flight to Turkey to go on vacation because I don’t want to end in jail here with my kids being hostages over my head.” Henry also indicated that he was concerned about passing a background check for his security clearance, telling the UC, “I don’t want to know your name . . . because I want plausible deniability too. In a security clearance situation they want to know names and people and all this stuff.”
The indictment has a bit more detail on that first meeting and the one that followed.
During the August 17, 2022 meeting, HENRY explained to the UC: “My point of view is until the United States actually declares war against Russia, I’m able to help as much as I want. At that point. I’ll have some ethical issues I have to work through.” GABRIELIAN replied: “you’ll work through those ethical issues.”
On August 24, 2022, GABRIELIAN and the UC met at a hotel room in Baltimore, Maryland. During that meeting, GABRIELIAN stated that although HENRY was a “coward,” and concerned about violating HIPAA by providing records to the UC, GABRIELIAN had no such concerns and violated HIPAA “all the time.” GABRIELIAN further told the UC she would check with HENRY about providing medical records from Fort Bragg patients and get back in touch.
Finally on August 31, the couple met with the undercover FBI agent again and provided medical records on at least seven individuals including “a person currently employed by the Office of Naval Intelligence” who had a medical condition that Gabrielian suggested Russia could exploit.
Now they are both facing up to five years for conspiracy plus up to 10 years for each instance of revealing personal medical information. Of course they won’t get anything close to a maximum sentence but it does sound like they are both going to prison.
Finally, there’s one curious thing about the indictment and the DOJ press release. You may have noticed that they refer to Maj. Henry as a man. For instance, “Henry also indicated that he was concerned about passing a background check for his security clearance.” Both documents also refer to Henry as Gabrielian’s “husband.” In fact that language appears in the first line of the press release: “A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Anna Gabrielian, age 36, and her husband, Jamie Lee Henry…” Not sure why that is. I wonder if it’s going to become an issue in the media?
In any case, the soldier who just wanted to live a healthy life as an out trans person apparently also wanted to transition to being Russian. She deserves whatever time she gets.