FBI brokers on Thursday visited the Connecticut residence and landscaping enterprise of Robert Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate whose purported surveillance of the U.S. ambassador in Ukraine final yr has grow to be a problem within the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The go to got here on the same day that Ukraine officials said they had opened an investigation of Hyde’s claims to Lev Parnas, a then-associate of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, that he was tracking the movements of American ambassador Marie Yovanovitch final yr when she was nonetheless posted in Kyiv.
Parnas and Giuliani final yr have been engaged in an effort to oust Yovanovitch as a part of a broader push to get Ukraine to research former Vice President Joe Biden, the present front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The Senate on Thursday started its impeachment trial of Trump. The Home of Representatives a month earlier impeached the president in connection along with his witholding of congressionally appropriated army assist to Ukraine whereas he was pressuring that nation’s new president to announce a probe of Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukraine gasoline firm.
A senior legislation enforcement official advised NBC Information that FBI brokers visited Hyde’s residence in Simsbury, and his enterprise in Avon on Thursday morning. Hyde’s congressional marketing campaign is headquarted in the identical workplace as his landscaping firm.
The official mentioned the visits have been to not conduct a court-authorized search however didn’t elaborate on the FBI’s purpose for the go to.
A neighbor of Hyde advised NBC that one FBI agent arrived at Hyde residence earlier than daybreak and parked on the road in entrance of the house.
The neighbor spoke to the FBI agent and mentioned to the very best of his information, the agent didn’t enter Hyde’s residence.
CNN first reported the FB visits.
A message for Hyde left by CNBC was not instantly returned.
The FBI declined to remark.
Officers on the police departments in Avon and Simbsury advised CNBC they didn’t know concerning the FBI visits to Hyde’s addresses in these cities.
Hyde’s communications with Parnas have been disclosed in a set of paperwork launched Tuesday by Home Democrats as a part of the impeachment course of. Parnas, who has been criminally charged with marketing campaign finance violations, turned over these paperwork to the Home.
In a March 23 textual content message to Parnas, Hyde had written of Yovanovitch, “Wow. Cannot imagine Trumo [sic] hasn’t fired this b—-. I am going to get proper in that.
“She [sic] below heavy safety exterior Kiev,” Hyde texted.
He went on to explain Yovanovitch’s location, her communications and her safety degree.
Hyde has denied spying on Yovanovitch, saying his feedback in textual content messages to Parnas about her alleged actions have been made in jest.
Hyde, in a Sinclair Media interview that aired Wednesday, mentioned, “I assumed we have been enjoying.”
“It is type of unlucky the left needed to get their panties in a bunch,” Hyde mentioned.
However Home International Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-New York, on Wednesday demanded paperwork from the State Division associated to any potential threats that Hyde posed to Yovanovitch, who had been recalled from Kyiv in Could.
In a letter to Under Secretary of State Brian Bulatao, Engel wrote, “Mr. Hyde claimed in a single message to have ‘an individual inside,’ presumably within the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, who’s ‘prepared to assist if we/you desire to a worth.’ “
“The sturdy implication from these messages is that somebody with detailed information of the Ambassador’s whereabouts and safety protocols was offering that info in actual time to Mr. Hyde,” Engel wrote.
“I can’t overstate the profound safety threat that this poses to the U.S. mission and our pursuits in Ukraine.”
Connecticut Republican Social gathering Chairman J.R. Romano urged Hyde to finish his congressional marketing campaign, saying his antics aren’t serving to Trump.
“His marketing campaign is a distraction for the Democrats to lift cash and falsely label all Republicans along with his antics,” Romano tweeted.