News and Commentary

Ukraine Opens Investigation Into ‘Surveillance’ Of U.S. Ambassador After Dems Release ‘Outrageous’ WhatsApp Texts
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. In the second impeachment hearing held by the committee, House Democrats continue to build a case against U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to link U.S. military aid for Ukraine to the nation’s investigation of his political rivals. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

WhatsApp messages sent by a landscaper-turned-Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde to Lev Parnas, an indicted ex-associate of Rudy Giuliani, have prompted an official investigation by Ukraine into the potential surveillance of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. The messages, says Hyde, were just jokes sent “to some dweeb we were playing with that we met a few times while we had a few drinks.”

Amid Democrats’ calls for an investigation into Hyde’s comments about his supposed “contacts” tracking Yovanovitch in Ukraine, Ukriaine’s interior ministry issued a statement Thursday announcing that it has opened “a criminal investigation into the possible illegal surveillance” of Yovanovitch, ABC News reports.

“The ministry in a statement said police had opened the investigation in light of text messages released by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee between two associates of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani,” ABC reports.

As reported by Politico, after releasing new Ukraine investigation materials Tuesday, Democrats are now “vowing to investigate” the allegations.

“This unprecedented threat to our diplomats must be thoroughly investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who sent a letter to the State Department on Wednesday demanding records on Hyde, Parnas and Yovanovitch, Politico notes.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders also weighed in on the WhatsApp messages, tweeting out a statement Wednesday decrying the “outrageous” messages and calling for a full investigation.

“It is outrageous that the President’s personal lawyers appear to have directed the surveillance of a U.S. ambassador,” Sanders wrote. “This must be fully investigated as the Senate conducts the impeachment trial. We have a responsibility to hold this lawless administration to account.”

But Hyde says this latest Ukraine “scandal” is based on a trolling joke on “dweeb” Parnas, who he says he was warned about early on.

“I was never in Kiev,” Hyde wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday, as reported by Politico. “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.”

In an interview with NBC News Tuesday, Hyde added that he’d been drinking when he sent some of the messages, then addressed the issue again in a phone interview with “America This Week with Eric Bolling” on Wednesday.

“We were playing,” Hyde told Bolling. “I thought we were playing. I didn’t know he was so serious.”

“We sent some colorful texts,” Hyde added. “It’s kind of unfortunate the left had to get their panties in a bunch.”

Asked if he was actually tracking Yovanovitch, Hyde told Bolling, “Absolutely not. Are you kidding me? I’m a little nasty [expletive], excuse my language. Come on, you know me, Eric.”

Hyde also told Bolling that he’d been warned “a long time ago” about Parnas. “Listen, I was told a long time ago who Lev was by a lot of people down in communities throughout this country who would pull me aside, have meetings with me, and tell me to stay away from the guy,” he said.

Below are some of the key texts sent by Hyde to Parnas between March 23 and 29 included among the materials released by the Democrats Tuesday:

Wow. Can’t believe Trumo [sic] hasn’t fired this b*tch. I’ll get right in that … She under heavy protection outside Kiev … 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 … They know she’s a political puppet …. They will let me know when she is on the move … I mean where if they can find out … That address I sent you checks out … It’s next to the embassy … They are willing to help if we/you would like a price … Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money … What I was told …. Update she will not be moved special security unit upgraded force 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 … From Ukrainians … Nothing is changed she is still not moving they check today again … It’s confirmed we have a person inside … Hey brother do we stand down?? Or you still need intel be safe … She had visitors … It’s confirmed we have a person inside … Hey broski tell me what we are doing what’s the next step

Related: Democrats Dump New Impeachment Evidence On Eve Of Vote, Say It Proves Senate Trial Can’t Be ‘Full And Fair’

This article has been revised for clarity.

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Ukraine Opens Investigation Into ‘Surveillance’ Of U.S. Ambassador After Dems Release ‘Outrageous’ WhatsApp Texts