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New texts turned over by Lev Parnas reveal creepy spying on Yovanovitch

[Trump and Hyde]

Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

Lev Parnas’ lawyer delivered a bunch of text messages and handwritten notes to Congress, this coming after a prolonged fight over whether they could be disclosed at all — Republicans had been fighting it.

After a quick review, most of it appears to fill in gaps of what was already known, though I can’t immediately say whether any of that is consequential.

But one lengthy exchange, between Parnas and Robert F Hyde, a Congressional candidate from Connecticut and USMC veteran, is seriously disturbing. The entire context isn’t 100 percent clear, but it appears that around March 2019 Hyde was conducting surveillance on US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, advising Parnas of her movements.

The below selected messages are from Hyde to Parnas, each time referring to Yovanovitch.

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“She’s under heavy protection outside Kiev”

“They are moving her tomorrow”

“The guys over they asked me what I would like to do and what is in it for them.”

“She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Computer is off.”

“They will let me know when she’s on the move.”

“They are willing to help if we/you would like a price.”

“Update she will not be moved special security unit upgraded on the compound people are already aware of the situation my contacts are asking what is the next step because they cannot keep going to check people will start to ask questions.”

“If you want her out they need to make contact with security forces.”

I don’t want to sound too paranoid but there are a few ways to read this and they range from “pretty disturbing” to “Holy shit, was the US President’s personal attorney’s agent poised to assassinate a US ambassador?”

Remember: Yovanovitch was hustled out of Ukraine by State Department officials who feared for her safety. What exactly did they know?

And recall that Yovanovitch testified that it was Ukranian officials who informed her that she was in some personal danger. Hyde needs to be prosecuted and it’s practically a scandal that he’s evidently not even under investigation.

 
UPDATE: Robert Hyde, whose campaign for a Connecticut congressional seat appears to have hit a speed bump, was taken into custody and Baker-acted after acting paranoid and strange at the Trump-owned Doral country club in May 2019, only a few months after he appears to have been surveilling the US ambassador to Ukraine. The police report states that Hyde feared for his life because of emails he’d sent, that a hit was out for him, and that the Secret Service had hacked his computer.

To the extent this episode sheds any light on the nature of his text exchange with Parnas, there are a few ways to look at it. On one hand it perhaps lends to the theory that Hyde and Parnas were only fantasizing about tailing and harming Yovanovitch (which is completely normal, right?), because Hyde is legitimately mentally ill.

Hyde himself told a reporter last night that his exchange with Parnas was nothing more than a few guys having a laugh after some drinks (the exchange covered multiple days).

On the other hand, given how Parnas and Hyde’s text exchange reads, perhaps Hyde’s paranoia was somewhat valid — that he had become aware he was being (for good reason) surveilled himself.

This is all playing out against an impeachment trial backdrop in which Republican senators are about to stake their re-election campaigns and reputations on the premise that There Is Nothing To See Here, a view that history will not, and indeed is already not, judging kindly.

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