Robert F. Hyde, a GOP Congressional candidate in Connecticut, has emerged as a shady new figure in the Trump impeachment inquiry after text messages surfaced revealing that he appeared to have U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch under surveillance. As you may recall, Yovanovitch testified that she was forced out of her job because she was getting in the way of the extortion plot to withhold U.S. aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation of Trump’s political rivals, and Trump said she was “going to go through some things.”
Mother Jones reports: “The 40-year-old Hyde is a curious figure. In recent years, he has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Trump and the Republicans, as he has tried to establish himself as a Washington, DC lobbyist and public affairs operator. The former owner of a landscaping company, he was arrested in 2011 after his firm’s work led to a tree falling on power lines, according to CT Insider. (He has said the charges were later dropped and he paid a fine.) His Facebook, Instagram, and website pages feature a parade of photos of him posing with Trump and other notable Republicans, including Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Jim Jordan, now-convicted felon Roger Stone, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.”
The Daily Beast 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.”
The text messages said things like, “They know she’s a political puppet. They will let me know when she’s on the move… They are willing to help if you/we would like a price. If you want her out we need to make contact with security forces.”
And “Guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money… what I was told.”
“Wow. Can’t believe Trumo (sic) hasn’t fired this bitch. I’ll get right in that.”
And this: “They are moving her tomorrow. The guys over they (sic) asked me what I would like to do and what is in it for them. Wake up Yankees man. 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.”
Asked about the text messages, Hyde told the Daily Beast: “How low can liddle Adam Bull Schiff go? I was never in Kiev. 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. Have fun with your witch-hunt liddle Schiff.”
Yovanovitch released a statement through her lawyer Lawrence Robbins: “Needless to say, the notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements for unknown purposes is disturbing. We trust that the appropriate authorities will conduct an investigation to determine what happened.”
Rachel Maddow reported on the developments last night:
Last May, Hyde was “taken into police custody at the Trump National Doral Miami … before being involuntarily admitted to a medical facility in accordance with a state law that allows the confinement of people believed to pose a danger to themselves,” the DB adds.
According to an “incident/investigation” report filed by the Doral, Florida, police department, on May 16, 2019, an officer was dispatched to the Trump National Doral Miami to deal with a “male in distress fearing for his life.” That man was Hyde. The report noted that Hyde explained to the police officer that “he was in fear for his life, was set up and that a hit man was out to get him. Mr. Hyde spoke about e-mails he sent that may have placed his life in jeopardy. Mr. Hyde explained several times that he was paranoid that someone was out to get him.”
The report stated that Hyde cited “a variety of different names, contacts and provided information in reference to why he felt his life was in danger.” After being taken into custody by the police, according to the report, “Mr. Hyde continued to act paranoid telling us not to stop next to certain vehicles…[H]e explained that he was scared due to several painting workers and landscape workers trying to do harm to him because they weren’t working. Additionally Mr. Hyde explained that his computer was being hacked by Secret Service. And then went on to further explain that the secret service [sic] was arrival [sic] on the premises watching him.”
The police report said that “it was determined that Mr. Hyde was suffering from a [redacted],” that he was “transported to [redacted] for further evaluation,” and that a “crisis form was filled and filed.”
The report classified the incident as “Baker/Marchman Act.” In Florida, the Baker Act and the Marchman Act allow for holding people who might harm themselves involuntarily for assessment.
Head to Mother Jones for much more.
No doubt this will further develop.