Documents given to House impeachment investigators by an associate of Rudy Giuliani revealed an effort to surveil a former U.S. ambassador in a number of alarming ways.
The documents were made available to the public on Tuesday. Within them, it’s shown that Lev Parnas, who was working with Giuliani (who in turn was working on behalf of President Donald Trump as his personal lawyer) and a Robert Hyde, a former congressional candidate and ardent supporter of Trump’s, were apparently surveilling former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch last spring.
Texts from Hyde discussed ways in which they could remove Yovanovitch from her position, and questioned why “Trump hasn’t fired this b—-,” CNN reported.
Parnas and Hyde also talked a great deal about Yovanovitch’s movements, in great detail — down to when she logged off of her computer.
“She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Computer is off. She’s next to the embassy. Not in the embassy. Private security. Been there since Thursday,” Hyde wrote in one exchange.
Ways in which Hyde suggested ousting Yovanovitch were sometimes alarming.
“If you want her out, they need to make contact with security forces. They know she’s a political puppet. They will let me know when she’s on the move,” Hyde said in a series of texts in March last year.
“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,” he added.
The new documents from Lev Parnas are chilling, and damming for @POTUS. Is @realDonaldTrump a thug? I don’t know. But Trump certainly used thugs to help him abuse the power of his office. https://t.co/udz8Ax9H0Z
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 15, 2020
The exchanges caused great concern for a number of pundits and lawmakers alike, including Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California.
“The new documents from Lev Parnas are chilling, and damming for @POTUS,” Lieu wrote on Tuesday evening.
“Is @realDonaldTrump a thug? I don’t know. But Trump certainly used thugs to help him abuse the power of his office,” he added.
It’s unclear how much Trump knew of what Hyde and Parnas were up to. However, Hyde and Trump have been very close in the past, as the former has made many campaign contributions to the latter. Hyde has even shared a number of images on his social media accounts highlighting their interactions.
For when Trump inevitably tries to say he hasn't met Robert F. Hyde pic.twitter.com/wvWJPoe6uo
— Aaron Fritschner (@Fritschner) January 15, 2020