House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff once praised a doctor
who was arrested last week for allegedly asking a 9-year-old
girl to send him sexually explicit photos, and later invited him
to his 50th birthday party.
Schiff, now 59, who is leading the Democrats in their efforts to
impeach President Trump, introduced Bruce Hensel, now 71 and
then a TV medical correspondent, at a contentious healthcare
town hall in Alhambra, California, in 2009. The following year,
Hensel was among the "close to 300 friends and supporters" at
Schiff’s Hawaii Five-O-themed 50th birthday party.
“It gives me great pleasure to introduce our moderator this
evening, a wonderful doctor and a very brave moderator, and that
is my friend, Dr. Bruce Hensel,” Schiff said at the 2009 event.
“Dr. Hensel is one of the preeminent medical and science
journalists in the country. He’s published two books and has won
numerous Emmys and Golden Mikes for his work on NBC TV and ABC
TV radio. Perhaps even more significantly, he writes and
produces much of his own TV and radio material, and is one of
the only such medical experts to be a practicing physician and
“He is board-certified in two specialities — emergency medicine
and internal medicine — and is a full-time professor of medicine
at UCLA. I don’t know how you find time to do all of this. He’s
an award-winning filmmaker and continues to take medical shifts.
And he’s dedicated his life to empowering people with
information to get and stay healthy. So, please join me in
welcoming Dr. Bruce Hensel.”
Schiff shook hands with Hensel, who was sitting to the right of
the lecture, after the introduction.
A five-minute video from the two-hour event was posted on
YouTube in 2009. The event, which brought out protesters,
focused on healthcare reform. Schiff was booed throughout his
remarks for supporting a bill that would create a government-run
public healthcare provider. The panel featured Dr. Benjamin Chu,
of Kaiser, Jerry Flanagan, of Consumer Watchdog, Leeba Lessin,
of CareMore, and Dr. Francine Kaufman, of Children’s Hospital.
Hensel was arrested Wednesday and has been charged with one
felony count of contact with a minor for sexual purposes.
Prosecutors allege Hensel, who was the on-air chief medical
correspondent for NBC in Los Angeles and New York, asked for
images from the daughter of an acquaintance through an online
messaging app on Aug. 4.
He faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in state prison if
convicted. Hensel’s attorney Steve Sitkoff said in a statement
that Hensel is “completely innocent of the charge.” Schiff’s
office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from
the Washington Examiner about the nature of his relationship
In September, Ed Buck, 65, a Schiff donor, was arrested and
charged with operating a drug house and three counts of battery.
The most recent man who overdosed at Buck's residence survived,
but the first two died 18 months apart. No charges were filed in
relation to the other deaths.
As well as Schiff, Buck donated to Los Angeles Mayor Eric
Garcetti, L.A. District Attorney Jack Lacey, Barack Obama, and