FBI investigators on Thursday reportedly visited the home and business of Robert Hyde, the Trump donor and congressional candidate who sent menacing texts to Lev Parnas about then-Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
CNN reported the news Thursday:
Lev Parnas on Wednesday night downplayed the texts.
“I don’t believe it’s true. I think he was either drunk or he was trying to make himself bigger than he was. So I didn’t take it seriously,” Parnas reported to Rachel Maddow in an interview airing Wednesday night, pointing to the man who sent the texts, Robert Hyde.
Hyde described the messages to an NBC reporter as “some texts my buddy’s and I wrote while we had a few drinks to some dweeb I met a few times.”
When the texts first emerged, it appeared Hyde had “a person inside,” as he told Parnas, who was watching Yovanovitch. The ambassador was the victim of a smear campaign led by Parnas and Rudy Giuliani and, later, the victim of attacks by President Donald Trump.
“She under heavy protection outside Kyiv,” Hyde wrote to Parnas in March, adding a few days later: “They are moving her tomorrow.”
“They are willing to help if we/you would like a price,” he texted Parnas later that day, March 25. “Guess you can do anything in Ukraine with the money… what I was told.”
“Lol,” Parnas responded.
After the records were published publicly, Yovanovitch’s attorney stated she hoped the matter would be investigated thoroughly. Ukrainian officials announced Thursday that they were reviewing possible surveillance of Yovanovitch.