Tuesday’s document dump from the files of Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas left mouths agape.
The cache provides evidence that Parnas’s team(?) was tracking the movements and monitoring the electronics of then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Parnas remains under indictment on campaign finance charges. What remains is to confirm what it all means and how closely an impeached president is connected.
The documents Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) forwarded to House judiciary committee chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) also introduced a new character into the Donald Trump impeachment saga: Robert F. Hyde.
A Republican candidate for Congress in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District and a Trump donor, Hyde appears to have had associates tracking Yovanovitch’s movements around Kiev, Daily Beast’s Betsy Swan reports:
In WhatsApp messages exchanged in March 2019 with Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, who provided the committee with the files, Hyde and Parnas discussed Yovanovitch’s location. Hyde, a retired Marine, appeared to have associates in Ukraine monitoring her.
“They know she’s a political puppet,” Hyde wrote to Parnas. “They will let me know when she’s on the move… They are willing to help if you/we would like a price.”
“Guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money… what I was told,” Hyde wrote in another message. Parnas responded: “LOL.”
Responding to Daily Beast’s request for comment, Hyde insulted House Intelligence chairman Schiff, writing, “Bull Schiff is a giant b*tch.” And: “Did Pelosi get drunk and lose the impeachment articles?” And: “Looks like Schiff wants to whistle blow me.”
“Schiff is a desperate turd playing with this Lev guy,” Hyde tweeted late last night about the man to whom he’d been texting reports from a “private security” team on Yovanovitch’s whereabouts, asking what they should do about her, and how much it would pay.
“There is no evidence that Mr. Parnas participated, agreed, paid money or took any other steps in furtherance of Mr. Hyde’s proposals,” his attorney, Joseph A. Bondy, said in a statement.
Known previously for a vulgar, sexist tweet (since removed) aimed at Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Hyde has donated more than $56,000 to Republican campaign coffers since late 2016, the Hartford Courant reports. The Connecticut Republican Party announced last week that owing to his “vile comments on Twitter,” it would return $750 received from Hyde.
The Courant provides additional color on Hyde:
In May, Hyde was removed by police from Trump National Doral Miami in Florida. According to an incident report filed by the Doral police department, Hyde told the responding officer that he was in fear for his life and “a hit man was out to get him.”
Hyde gave police a variety of names and contacts to provide information about why he felt his life was in danger.
He was not arrested. Police escorted him from the hotel and transported him to an undisclosed location. In the vehicle, Hyde said his computer had been hacked by the Secret Service and that the Secret Service was watching him at the premises, according to the incident report.
Anyone associated with the Trump administration by now has a serious credibility problem. It’s not clear how seriously we can take the kind of cartoon villains Trump collects. Nevertheless, it is also hard to believe anything is beyond him/them.
“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster,” Henry Hill says at the beginning of Goodfellas. “To me, being a gangster was better than being President of the United States.” Donald Trump thought, why not both?
Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.