This article is the second in a two-part series examining the case against Dr. Eithan Haim, a surgeon and whistleblower being unfairly investigated by the Department of Justice. Part Two features comments from Haim’s lawyer, Marcella Burke. You can read the Daily Citizen’s interview with Dr. Haim here.


Much like Dr. Eithan Haim, the surgeon who exposed Texas Children’s Hospital’s secret transgender program last year, lawyer Marcella Burke wasn’t planning to enter a high-stakes cage match with the federal government.

Between raising four boys and shepherding her elite commercial law firm off the ground, she hardly had the time.

But Burke’s plans changed, ironically, on a family vacation last June, when she received a call from investigative journalist Christopher Rufo.

“He told me about Dr. Haim’s case, and it was just horrifying — and all so illegal,” Burke recalls in an exclusive interview with the Daily Citizen.

Nearly a year later, Burke and her firm are defending Dr. Haim from a government bent on silencing him.

“There’s a whole statutory regime in place to protect people who tell the government when laws are being broken. So, the fact that Eithan is the one being investigated is astounding — and that’s not even considering federal agents coming to his house.”

In this exclusive interview, Burke gives the Daily Citizen the run-down on the case against Dr. Haim and the legal significance of children’s transgender medical interventions.

Daily Citizen: What about Dr. Haim’s case convinced you to pursue it, even though your business was in its infancy?

Burke: From our first conversation, Dr. Haim’s whole focus was on helping kids and saving his profession. The government had come to his home — quite possibly illegally — but he wasn’t worried about his safety. He has demonstrated remarkable courage.

Daily Citizen: Do you think you made the right decision?

Burke: Absolutely. It’s a huge blessing and privilege to be enlisted in this battle to help restore medicine and law. It’s one of those ubiquitous issues that you can’t just walk away from — everybody has to do their part.

And I think this case has been wonderful for everyone at the firm. It’s really moving to see all the different people who call to engage. It’s like being on the X-Men, meeting all these people who have special powers and want to fight for good.

And I’ll say this, too — every single person engaged in this battle would do it to save just one child from being harmed. It’s that devastating to a person’s life when they are subjected to this abuse.

Daily Citizen: Do you believe the transgender medical interventions can be legally treated as child abuse?

Burke: Yes, there’s a lot of things that are illegal about what doctors are doing at these hospitals — not only child abuse but personal injury, fraud, deceptive trade practice, medical malpractice, assault and battery, there’s a whole litany of things.

This is flagrantly illegal and unethical behavior, and they’ve bet on people not speaking up. But [their experimentation] won’t stand up in court. Nor will it stand up under true medical scrutiny, or under any of the legal, medical, and ethical standards for doctors and hospitals dealing with children. It’s a time of reckoning for these guys, no question.

Daily Citizen: Dr. Haim is being investigated for violating patient privacy laws. Has he done anything to warrant that investigation?

Burke: The prosecutors could not produce any evidence that any HIPAA violation occurred, and we have asked for it many times. All patient information on documents Rufo published was redacted.

If there was another statute under some other criminal framework, the prosecutors would have used that [to challenge Dr. Haim].

Daily Citizen: If the prosecutor hasn’t produced evidence of Dr. Haim’s wrongdoing, why did the DOJ send him a “target letter” in June 2023?

Burke: The target letter [telling Dr. Haim he could be the target of an investigation] is just one example of the atrocious abuse of power in this case. To send such a letter, the investigators must have evidence.

So, when Dr. Haim received his letter, which did not specify any crime, one of the obvious questions was, “What do they have on him?” Is he not paying his taxes? Is he gambling? Is he doing something illegal with prescriptions? Prosecutors usually don’t send a target letter to someone who didn’t do something, somewhere.

Having spoken to the Department of Justice (DOJ) numerous times to figure it out, we now know the prosecutor who signed the letter hadn’t even reviewed any evidence before she did so.

Daily Citizen: If Dr. Haim didn’t violate HIPAA, why is he under investigation?

Burke: The initial investigation was premised on an easily disproved falsehood — that patient names were released — that prosecutors could have found out long before federal agents arrived at his doorstep. So, either someone intentionally misrepresented this critical fact or the investigators sent a target letter without anyone verifying basic information.

They also investigated Dr. Haim with exceptional speed. It can take years to approach a target, but federal officers were at his home a little over a month after Rufo published his first story. This either signals that the investigations was being prioritized based on some severe crime or some sort of political targeting.

It’s possible investigators thought they could scare Dr. Haim into being quiet if they came to his house. They seriously underestimated my client if that’s the case.

Daily Citizen: You say the unsubstantiated target letter is only one of the DOJ’s abuses of power. What other legal problems have you experienced in this case?

Burke: There are so many problems with this case. *laughs*

Before reviewing the evidence, the prosecutor tells Dr. Haim to admit wrongdoing to avoid felony prosecution. A basic HIPAA violation is at most a misdemeanor, and it’s never really been prosecuted absent some additional significant criminal conduct. But, more importantly, she hadn’t seen or provided any evidence of wrongdoing!

When we ask for more information, the prosecutor reveals she is not an impartial arbiter of the law. She discusses aggressively prosecuting Dr. Haim, and she makes clear she sides with the “victims” — including the surgeons — even though no [patient’s] names had been released.

She then brings up Dr. Haim’s wife, who was undergoing a federal background investigation to become an assistant U.S. attorney at the time. Dr. Haim had talked to her before he refused to talk to officers in June. Now, the prosecutor tells us that unless Mrs. Haim becomes less “difficult,” the case could affect her background check.

This is clearly an ideological, political persecution of an inconvenient truth teller. This prosecutor is using laws with protections for whistleblowers as a sword to threaten them.

Using fear to intimidate people is a common theme when it comes to standing up against this ideology.

Daily Citizen: You felt so strongly about the misconduct in this case that you blew the whistle yourself. What can you tell us about that?

Burke: It got to the point where the prosecutor’s behavior was so outrageous that we attorneys wrote a letter notifying the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government about her conduct. Two of the lawyers who blew the whistle with me were senior DOJ officials for decades. We told the Subcommittee that we would be happy to put our reputations on the line and testify to our experience.

Daily Citizen: Have any charges been filed against Texas Children’s Hospital?

Burke: None that we know of, not even after Dr. Haim decided to go public.

Daily Citizen: You’ve talked about the DOJ’s attempts to scare Dr. Haim. How does fear play a larger role in the realm of transgender medical interventions?

Burke: Doctors at these transgender clinics use fear to impose their will. They tell 11- and 12-year-olds going through puberty — which can be an emotionally miserable time — that it’s only going to get worse. They use their authority to convince kids to choose between starting transgender medical interventions or committing suicide.

The doctors are legally and ethically liable for creating this false dichotomy. These adolescents cannot meaningfully engage in making these decisions.

Daily Citizen: Do you believe doctors and hospitals are intentionally deceiving gender confused patients and their families about the effects of transgender medical interventions?

Yes. I know a lot of people give doctors the benefit of the doubt, and I think there may be some who think they’re helping kids when they start engaging in this world. But it doesn’t take long to see the effects of these interventions and choose to get out — Jamie Reid is a great example of that.

Doctors tell kids to choose between [transgender medical interventions] or suicide, but the truth is that transgender medical interventions lead to suicide.

Hundreds of thousands of children are being permanently harmed by these interventions — not just physically, but emotionally. They develop new psychological problems because the drugs they’ve been given wreck their [brain chemistry]. They are told they will become new, happier people, only to become depressed at their chronic illness.

The problems with pushing these interventions are well documented (See this recent editorial published in the prestigious British Medical Journal). Doctors know what’s going on.

Daily Citizen: Why would doctors and hospitals intentionally harm gender confused patients?

Burke: The amount of money to be made by exploiting these kids and their parents is staggering — it’s an astronomical financial opportunity.

Each dose of the drug they give to children to block their puberty — which is a drug prescribed to adult men with prostate cancer — costs thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. That means each puberty is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And these drugs cause medical issues that are permanent. These kids become sterile for life. They have endocrine problems and problems with their bones, hearts, and lungs. It’s tragic.

But you can imagine a scenario in which a hospital’s board of directors decides their fiduciary duty trumps their duty to care.

Daily Citizen: Dr. Haim has a daunting battle ahead of him. Do you think he will prevail?

Burke: It’s definitely a David vs. Goliath story. But we know it doesn’t take much to take down a giant. It takes courage, calculation and a kill shot — and that’s what we have with Dr. Haim’s case.

Additional Articles and Resources

EXCLUSIVE: The Daily Citizen interviews Dr. Eithan Haim, the surgeon who exposed a secret transgender medical program at Texas Children’s Hospital

U.K.’s Review of Child Gender Policy Reveals Profound Failures that U.S. Still Defends

The WPATH Files Exposes ‘Surgical and Hormonal Experiments on Children’

England’s NHS Stops Dispensing Puberty Blockers for Children — Not Safe or Effective

Former ‘Transgender Clinic’ Worker Blows the Whistle, Becomes First to Speak Out Against ‘Transitioning’ Minors