The scoop: A federal prosecutor began targeting a whistleblower who exposed sex change procedures at a Texas hospital without reviewing basic details of the case, according to emails obtained by Upward News.
- Catch up: While training at Texas Children’s Hospital last year, Dr. Eithan Haim leaked documents showing that the hospital was transitioning children despite publicly announcing it had stopped. Activist Chris Rufo published the documents, which showed doctors’ appointments with the names of child patients redacted.
- What happened next: Agents from the inspector general’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) questioned Haim at his home in June. Haim later found out that Assistant U.S. Attorney Tina Ansari was investigating him with the help of the HHS and FBI.
What we learned: Ansari claims Haim released the names of patients, possibly breaking medical privacy law, according to emails between Haim’s legal team and Ansari.
- What’s her evidence? Rufo has confirmed that Haim censored the names before sharing the records with him. Ansari says federal agents have evidence showing otherwise — though she had not yet received it before launching her probe, the emails show.
- In other words: “Either someone intentionally misrepresented this critical fact, or this investigation proceeded without anyone verifying the most basic facts about what happened,” Haim’s team said in a letter to Congress.
Aggressive response: The privacy law in question is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which is mainly enforced by the HHS’ civil rights office. It’s extremely rare for prosecutors to get involved. Haim, who says he has struggled to pay legal bills, could face possible prison time if he is charged under HIPAA.
Why it matters: Texas Children’s Hospital was secretly giving puberty blockers and other experimental, life-altering interventions to children. It encouraged health professionals to start minors on this path by affirming them as trans behind their parents’ backs. But instead of investigating the hospital — as Texas has — the Biden administration targets the doctor who exposed this activity.
- Tight-lipped: Ansari’s district office at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the HHS’ civil rights office did not respond to questions from Upward News. The inspector general’s office at the HHS said it “can neither confirm nor deny ongoing investigations.”