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Maryland doctor accused of violating patient privacy to help Russia takes the stand in own defense

Maryland doctor accused of conspiring with Russia over medical records takes stand
Maryland doctor accused of conspiring with Russia over medical records takes stand 02:29

BALTIMORE -- One of the two Maryland doctors accused of conspiring to help Russia by violating patient privacy took the stand in her own defense Thursday.

Doctors Anna Gabrielian and Jamie Lee Henry were charged in September with conspiracy to wrongfully disclose individually identifiable health information.

In her two-hour, 20-minute testimony Thursday, Gabrielian admitted to disclosing private patient medical information and apologized to those patients.

Her attorneys are arguing the married couple was entrapped by federal investigators.

Gabrielian, born in Russia and spent the first eight years of her life there, reached out to the Russian embassy in March 2022, less than a week after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, to offer assistance. 

She testified she was offering her medical and academic expertise as an anesthesiologist employed at Johns Hopkins. 

She told the undercover agent she was upset scientific projects and medical collaborations with Russian colleagues had been cut off.

Her attorney showed jurors text exchanges between Gabrielian and her friends showing her support for a medical supply effort organized by her mentor, a Ukrainian physician.

One of the texts read, "What kind of doctor am I to sit on my [expletive] in cushy America and do nothing? What kind of Russian am I? I am ashamed of my inaction."

She described what started as "a genuine offer of medical assistance" to an embassy clerk turned to fear for her safety and career when the agent knew personal details about her, fearing the official was actually a Russian intelligence officer.

Gabrielian offered her spouse Dr. Henry's expertise as a medical officer in the U.S. Army to help Russians build field hospitals because that could save thousands of lives.

"You can just want to save Russian lives, too," she told the jury.

Her testimony is expected to continue Friday morning.

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