House Democrats on Friday released new documents from indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas ahead of the Senate trial that includes new information about the apparent surveillance of former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and additional contacts between Parnas and an aide to Rep. Devin Nunes of California.
The new documents add to the growing trove of allegations and evidence that have come from Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas this week. Democrats have released three sets of Parnas documents this week after his attorney provided materials to the committee last weekend, and Parnas did television interviews with CNN and MSNBC in which he implicated Trump and said the efforts were “all about 2020.”
The new documents include screenshots of undated text messages that appear to show Robert Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate in Connecticut, messaging with a foreign number from Belgium, which appear to describe efforts to surveil Yovanovitch. Hyde appeared to share the screenshots with Parnas, which is how they wound up on his phone that he turned over to House investigators.
The Belgian country-code number sends Hyde a screenshot of an official photo of Yovanovitch. The Belgium number, whose identity is not known, writes “My contacts are checking,” adding, “I will give you the address next week.”
Hyde replied, “Awesome.”
In another series of texts, the Belgian number tells Hyde at 2:05 p.m., “Nothing has changed she is still not moving they check today again,” shortly adding, “It’s confirmed we have a person inside.”
“She had visitors,” the Belgian number texted in another exchange.
In a video posted to Twitter on Friday, Hyde downplayed the text messages and repeated his claims that Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who’s the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is setting him up
“I’m a landscaper from Simsbury, Connecticut, that is trying to get into the government relations, public relations world, lobbying world, whatever you want to call it,” Hyde said. “And this guy Adam Schiff is a bad character. … It was just copy and paste b——- from some intel guy – probably that was f—ing with me, trying to set Trump up.”
The messages come after an earlier document release showed Hyde texting with Parnas about the apparent surveillance. Hyde has denied conducting surveillance of Yovanovitch.
The new documents also show communications between Parnas and Nunes aide Derek Harvey, in which they arrange interviews with Ukrainian officials and apparent meetings at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., including with Giuliani.
The new materials draw Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, even further into the efforts undertaken by Giuliani and his associates to push out Yovanovitch in Ukraine and dig up dirt on the President’s political rivals. Last month, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee included in their impeachment inquiry report phone records of calls exchanged between Nunes and Parnas and other allies of President Donald Trump.
Nunes admitted Wednesday to speaking on the phone with Parnas, who has become a key figure in the Ukraine scandal, after previously saying such a conversation would have been “very unlikely.”
The WhatsApp exchanges show that Harvey raised questions about foreign assistance to Ukraine in late March 2019.
On March 29, 2019, Harvey asked Parnas, “Can we get materials?”
Parnas told Harvey in an April text message that he would be interviewing “the general prosecutor that got fired by Biden,” who is Viktor Shokin. Parnas also references Ukraine’s then-prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko. Both prosecutors also spoke to Giuliani in his effort to dig up dirt on the Bidens.
“Let’s do our call at 12 and we can do the first prosecutor at 1 your time?” Parnas texts Harvey on April 17, 2019.
“Okay,” Harvey responds.
Two days later, Harvey texts Parnas: “Lev. I think we are best served by sending the official letter and receiving documentation before any more interviews.”
The text exchanges between Harvey and Parnas includes multiple references to John Solomon, the former conservative columnist for The Hill who published columns attacking Yovanovitch.
In one text, Harvey tells Parnas in April 2019 that “Solomon needs to get me the material.”
There are multiple references to meetings apparently at the Trump Hotel, including a May 7, 2019, meeting with Giuliani and Solomon.
“Can you come now,” Parnas asks.
“Yes,” Harvey responds.
A spokesman for Nunes did not respond to a request for comment.
This story and headline have been updated with additional information from the documents.