Connecticut Republican visited by FBI following allegations he surveilled former US ambassador to Ukraine

Connecticut Republican visited by FBI following allegations he surveilled former US ambassador to Ukraine
PBS NewsHour

In Connecticut, Robert Hyde is among the Republicans who has been seeking the GOP nomination to compete against Democratic incumbent Rep. Jahana Hayes in November — and Hyde, a strident defender of President Donald Trump, is now under pressure from both Democrats and the Connecticut GOP over his role in the Ukraine scandal. This week, NBC News is reporting, the FBI visited Hyde’s home and business following the release of some Ukraine-related messages.

On Tuesday, the House Intelligence Committee (which is chaired by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff) released some WhatsApp messages in which Hyde indicated he was tracking the movements of diplomat Marie Yovanovitch in Kiev when she was still serving as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Yovanovitch was among the witnesses who testified last year during the House impeachment inquiry against Trump — and according to House Democrats, Giuliani (Trump’s personal attorney and former mayor of New York City) wanted Yovanovitch ousted as ambassador because he saw her as an impediment to an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in Ukraine.

In a March 25 message to Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, Hyde said of Yovanovitch, “They are moving her tomorrow. She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Computer is off.”

Trump recalled Yovanovitch as ambassador in May.

During an appearance on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC on Wednesday night, Parnas described Hyde as a “weird” individual he met at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. — and Parnas expressed doubts that Hyde really did have Yovanovitch under surveillance.

J.R. Romano, chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party, is calling for Hyde to drop out of the congressional race. Romano told CNN, “It’s not helpful to the president. It’s not helpful to other Republican candidates, and it provides an opportunity for Democrats to raise money. It allows the opposition to label all Republicans with these comments.”

On Twitter, Romano posted, “I have asked Rob Hyde to end his bid for Congress.  His campaign is a distraction for the Democrats to raise money and falsely label all Republicans with his antics. In my view, he is not helping other Republican candidates or @realDonaldTrump win. #ctpolitics.”

Hyde, in response, accused Romano of being a “staunch advocate” against Trump and called for his resignation.


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