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1st openly trans Army officer arrested for trying to pass secrets to Russia

The seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Photo by Joe Andrucyk, Maryland Governor's Office/Released)
September 29, 2022

U.S. Army Maj. Jamie Lee Henry was arrested on Thursday after allegedly trying to pass health information about U.S. military members to Russia. Henry previously caught media attention after coming out as the first openly transgender active duty U.S. Army officer.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the arrest of Henry, 39, and wife Anna Gabrielian, 36. The pair was indicted on Wednesday on charges of conspiracy and the disclosure of individually identifiable health information (“IIHI”).

Even before these charges were announced, Henry had caught the attention of the U.S. media. In June of 2015, Buzzfeed published an article profiling Henry and highlighting Henry’s experience as a trans woman. Henry told Buzzfeed how she initially struggled with the Army’s rules and had to maintain male grooming standards during the transition process.

Transgender U.S. troops previously had to serve under the gender marker corresponding with their biological sex, however, President Joe Biden’s administration has since allowed trans troops to serve under their preferred gender marker.

Henry is a doctor in the Army’s medical corps and has held a “secret” security clearance. The Army officer was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is the home of the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps, the headquarters of Army Special Operations Command, and the Womack Army Medical Center.

Gabrielian is an anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins.

According to the indictment, beginning in August and continuing through to the present, Henry and Gabrielian knowingly gathered and passed on the confidential individually identifiable health information (“IIHI”) of Americans associated with the United States government and military to Russia.

The DOJ said the information Henry and Gabrielian passed along brought the potential for the Russian government to gain insights into the medical conditions of individuals associated with the U.S. government and military, to exploit this information.”

The DOJ alleges these efforts by Henry and Gabrielian were intended to assist Russia in its ongoing conflict against Ukraine.

According to the indictment, on Aug. 17, Henry and Gabrielian met with FBI Undercover (UC) Agent who was posing as someone they believed to be working for the Russian government. During this meeting, Henry told the UC that “he 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 is alleged to have 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.”

During that same meeting, Gabrielian also asked that if she or Henry were ever at risk of arrest, that her and Henry’s children “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.”

On Aug. 25, Gabrielian sent the UC a text saying Henry would provide Army medical records to the UC.

On Aug. 31, all three of them met and she provided health records of the spouse of a person currently employed by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) and highlighted a medical issue reflected in the records of that Russia could exploit. She also provided the health records for a U.S. Air Force veteran.

At the same meeting, Henry provided the health records of a retired Army officer, a current Department of Defense employee, the spouse of a U.S. Army veteran, and the records for the spouses of two deceased Army veterans.

The DOJ said Henry also possessed “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.”

If convicted, Henry and Gabrielian face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy, and a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for each count of disclosing IIHI.