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Ukraine Opens Investigation Into Ambassador Allegations

Giuliani associates texted about tailing Marie Yovanovitch
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2020 8:57 AM CST
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, right, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, in the second public impeachment hearing...   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Did associates of Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine have then-ambassador Marie Yovanovitch followed there? That's one of the accusations to surface in relation to one of those associates, Lev Parnas. Much is unclear about the accusation, but on Thursday, Ukraine said it would investigate, reports NBC News. The allegation arose thanks to texts between Parnas and Robert Hyde, a supporter of President Trump, that were made public by House Democrats late Tuesday. In those texts, Hyde suggested that he or people he knew were closely monitoring Yovanovitch—both her physical movements and her computer and phone use. There might be a simpler explanation, however, notes the Washington Post. It's possible Hyde might have been drunk.

"I don’t believe it's true," Parnas told Rachel Maddow. "I believe he was either drunk or was trying to make himself bigger than he was." To emphasize the point, he said: "He was drunk all the time. … I’ve never seen him not drunk." Hyde himself, who is running for Congress in Connecticut, also referenced alcohol in an interview with Sinclair TV, reports Mediaite. "You know, we had a few pops way back when I used to drink," he said when asked about his conversations with Parnas. "Kind of unfortunate that the left had to get their panties in a bunch." When asked whether he put Yovanovitch under surveillance, he responded, "Absolutely not, are you kidding me?" Ukraine also said it is investigating claims that Russia hacked Burisma, the gas company that features prominently in the Ukraine controversy. (Read more Marie Yovanovitch stories.)

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