Not long ago, he was accused of tracking a U.S. ambassador from the shadows. Now he says he wants to step into the light and share what he knows with Congress. Robert Hyde, the Trump donor with ties to indicted Trumpworld associate Lev Parnas, has recently communicated with and provided documents to the House Foreign Affairs Committee about its investigation into the campaign against former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in Ukraine, The Daily Beast has learned.
Hyde, who is running for Congress in Connecticut’s 5th District, made headlines last month when Democrats released messages to the public that showed Hyde in communication with Parnas, the former Rudy Giuliani ally who pleaded guilty to charges of funneling money from foreign entities. The pair spoke about Yovanovitch, and the messages appeared to show that Hyde had the ambassador under physical surveillance in Kyiv. (Multiple media outlets suggested he was “stalking” her.) Hyde later told the media he was never a close associate of Parnas and was only joking when he texted him about the ambassador.
When asked what he gave the congressional committee, Hyde told The Daily Beast: “Everything that I had between Parnas and I.” He said the committee wanted to “talk about Parnas and how I know him.”
“You should look into Parnas. Bad man,” Hyde added.
Hyde said he’d spoken to the House committee several times to aid in its investigation. Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) said Jan. 15 that his committee would investigate the Hyde-Parnas text messages, saying in a statement that they were “profoundly alarming.” Democrats on Capitol Hill have been probing Yovanovitch’s ouster for several months, and aides say they see the committee’s work as more crucial now than ever following President Donald Trump’s acquittal in the Senate. Engel has previously said that it was former National Security Adviser John Bolton who, unprompted, suggested he and the committee look into Yovanovitch’s situation in Ukraine.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee declined to comment for this story.
Yovanovitch recently announced that she was leaving the State Department. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, the former ambassador said she and other Trump administration officials spoke to House impeachment investigators because “it is the American way to speak up about wrongdoing.”
During her time in Kyiv, Yovanovitch faced an onslaught of attacks from Giuliani and his associates, propagated, at least in part, in articles published by John Solomon, the discredited columnist formerly with The Hill. Hyde’s text messages showed that the congressional candidate was in touch with Parnas, one of the individuals who worked with Giuliani to oust Yovanovitch in the weeks leading up to her removal. Hyde referred to the ambassador as a “bitch.” In another text he wrote: “She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Her computer is off.”
Since Hyde’s text messages were dispersed publicly, the congressional candidate and Parnas have tried to distance themselves from each other. And now it appears Hyde, who has interacted with major Trumpworld figures such as Donald Trump Jr., Roger Stone, and President Trump himself, is attempting to put a stop to individuals he claims are defaming him.
Others have previously filed restraining orders against Hyde for “harassment” and “stalking.” But acting as his own attorney, Hyde this week filed court documents requesting multiple restraining orders and small civil claims against individuals he says are spreading false information about him and his family.
Hyde has previously said that a Dutch man named Anthony de Caluwe pushed him to provide information to Parnas about Yovanovitch. De Caluwe sued Hyde for $30,000, claiming he did not know who he was and that his reputation had been damaged beyond repair because of the congressional candidate’s comments. This week Hyde filed a statement of claim for personal tort against de Caluwe, asking for $10,000.
“Anthony is going around slandering and defaming me,” Hyde wrote on the form. “He is hurting my personal life and business. Him going around and asking me to do things on his behalf while lying as to what he is or was has made my life difficult and has caused severe pain and stress while we met at Trump Hotel D.C.”
He filed an additional complaint for slander and libel. “He used to stalk me at Trump Hotel Washington, D.C.,” Hyde said. “Anthony put my family, myself, and my company in harm’s way. He misrepresented himself. In doing so he harassed and threatened and defamed me. I'm asking for the court to… have him cease and desist in contacting me. And to retract anything he is saying.”
“My client had a friendship with Rob and there was never a time that he meant to mislead him during their friendship,” a spokesperson for de Caluwe said. “Anthony has stated that their text exchange was an extension of playful banter that they regularly exchanged during their friendship.”
Hyde also filed a complaint for libel and slander, a motion for a temporary restraining order, and a small claims suit for $10,000 against Rabia Kazan, the president of the Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition and a former Trump supporter. In an interview with NBC News in January, Kazan said she dated Hyde for three weeks in 2019 after meeting him at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., and that Hyde “never stopped talking about me.”
In court papers filed on Monday, Hyde disputed the claims and accused Kazan of harassment. “She claims we had a relationship. We didn’t. She’s defaming and slandering my reputation and hurting me, my family, and business. I only met her at Trump D.C. once and saw her there once, maybe twice,” he wrote. When asked for comment, Kazan said: “I am filing a lawsuit against him now. I went to the police.”