Police in Ukraine probe claims Donald Trump’s allies put Marie Yovanovitch under surveillance

Ukrainian police said Thursday they have opened an investigation into the possibility that the former U.S. ambassador came under illegal surveillance from Donald Trump’s allies before she was recalled from her post.

The announcement came two days after Democratic lawmakers in the United States released a trove of documents that showed Lev Parnas, an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, communicating about the removal of Marie Yovanovitch as the ambassador to Ukraine.

The messages showed Parnas exchanging encrypted WhatsApp messages with Robert Hyde, a former Marine who is running for Congress and who has repeatedly posed with Trump, about Yovanovitch. One asks ‘if you want her out.’

They are among evidence sent to the Senate on Wednesday with the articles of impeachment. Yovanovitch’s attorney has asked for a U.S. investigation already.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry, which runs the police forces, said in a statement that Ukrainian police ‘are not interfering in the internal political affairs of the United States.’

‘However, the published messages contain facts of possible violations of Ukrainian law and of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which protect the rights of diplomats on the territory of another state,’ the statement continued.

Message revelations: A cache of messages from Lev Parnas' devices revealed him receiving apparent updates on surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch

Message revelations: A cache of messages from Lev Parnas’ devices revealed him receiving apparent updates on surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch

Messages: Some of the WhatsApp messages Robert Hyde sent Lev Parnas about Marie Yovanovitch

Messages: Some of the WhatsApp messages Robert Hyde sent Lev Parnas about Marie Yovanovitch

‘Our goal is to investigate whether there actually was a violation of Ukrainian and international law, which could be the subject for proper reaction. Or whether it is just bravado and fake information in the informal conversation between two U.S. citizens,’ the ministry said.

The Interior Ministry also said it has requested the FBI provide relevant materials. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov ‘suggested that the U.S. side take part in the investigation,’ the statement said.

And the Ukraine ministry said it was opening an investigation into reports that Russian hackers gained access to computers of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.

Hunter Biden, the son of Trump opponent and former U.S. vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of that company. It has asked the FBI to help that probe too. 

The development came as the Senate prepared to formally begin Trump’s impeachment trial.  

On MSNBC on Thursday night Parnas pushed back on the messages, saying that Hyde was a drunken hanger-on and not to be believed.

They show WhatsApps between Parnas and Hyde, who Parnas said he met at the bar in the Trump Hotel in Washington D.C.

‘She under heavy protection outside Kiev,’ Hyde wrote in a March 23 message to Parnas, who was born in the former Soviet Union and who was indicted on campaign finance allegations, and who turned over information to the House Intelligence committee with his lawyer. 

‘I know crazy s***’ Parnas responds. ‘My guy thinks maybe FSB,’ responds Hyde, referencing Russian internal security. 

Two days later, he wrote: ”They are moving her tomorrow.’ Then he added: ‘The guys over there asked me what I would like to do and what is in it for them.’ 

‘Private security. Been there since Thursday,’ he wrote in another message. ‘They will let me know when she’s on the move.’ 

‘They are willing to help if we/you would like a price,’ Hyde added in another message that day. 

‘Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money … what I was told,’ he wrote.

He also levels insults at Yovanovitch, a longtime foreign service officer who Ukrainian officials working with Giuliani considered a threat. ‘Wow. Can’t believe Trump hasn’t fired this b****. I’ll get right in that.’ 

A March 26 message states: ‘If you want her out they need to make contact with security forces.’

Robert Hyde, a congressional candidate in Connecticut, brushed off new messages that appear to show him monitoring the movements of a U.S. ambassador. ‘For them to take some texts my buddy’s and I wrote back to some dweeb we were playing with that we met a few times while we had a few drinks is definitely laughable,’ wrote Hyde, seen here with President Trump in an image posted on Hyde’s Instagram account

Hyde responded on twitter and then in an interview with Eric Bolling.

He did not dispute the validity of the texts, which show detailed monitoring of the physical location of fired U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was removed from her post last year amidst an intense lobbying push by Giuliani and his associates.

But Hyde blasted Trump nemesis Rep. Adam Schiff and claimed he sent the texts to ‘some dweeb we were playing with that we met a few times while we had a few drinks.’  

Hyde also told NBC News he was drinking when he sent the messages that the House released hours before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment managers for a coming Senate trial on two articles against President Trump. 

‘How low can liddle Adam Bull Schiff go? I was never in Kiev,’ Hyde tweeted Tuesday night. ‘For them to take some texts my buddy’s and I wrote back to some dweeb we were playing with that we met a few times while we had a few drinks is definitely laughable. Schiff is a desperate turd playing with this Lev guy.’   

President Trump also disparaged Yovanovitch in his infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom he asked for a ‘favor’ that included probing the Bidens and a Ukrainian energy firm linked to Hunter Biden. 

‘Well, she’s going to go through some things,’ Trump said of Yovanovitch.

Yovanovitch’s lawyer Lawrence Robbins called for an investigation and said ‘the notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements for unknown purposes is disturbing.’     

Hyde makes reference to drinking in other social media posts, where he also has shown an affinity for spycraft. In one tweet where he tags conservative commentator Dan Bongino, he writes: ‘Shaken not stirred? @dbongino,’ making a James Bond reference.

In another, he mocks House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for holding up impeachment articles.

‘Who else thinks Hayes and Pelosi got drunk and lost the articles of impeachment,’ he wrote over an image of Pelosi and Connecticut Rep. Jahana Hayes, whom he is seeking to unseat. 

Hyde claims to be an Iraq war veteran and is running for the Republican nomination for Connecticut’s fifth district. The chair of the state party demanded that he stand down.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

Loading...