Alarming texts were released on Tuesday between two associates of the President's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani: indicted Ukrainian-American Lev Parnas and GOP congressional candidate Robert Hyde.
The texts indicated Hyde was tracking the whereabouts of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Hyde claims in the texts to be working with someone on Yovanovitch's security team to monitor her whereabouts and tells Parnas he knows people who "can help" for a price.
Yovanovitch left Ukraine for the United States due to security concerns weeks later.
In an explosive interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Parnas claimed he wasn't taking the texts from Hyde seriously, instead assuming he was drunk. Parnas cut ties with Hyde as the messages got more disturbing.
For Hyde's part, he claims he'd been drinking as well.
How low can liddle Adam Bull Schiff go? I was never in Kiev. For them to take some texts my buddy’s and I wrote bac… https://t.co/Y8DtbfKuJ3— HYDE for U.S. Congress (@HYDE for U.S. Congress)1579059801.0
But Ukrainian officials aren't taking the matter lightly: they've opened an investigation into the veracity of the texts.
The concentrated effort from Giuliani, Parnas, Hyde, and others to remove Yovanovitch from her post was part and parcel of the effort to get Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Instead, it looks like the Ukrainians just announced a different investigation.
According to Buzzfeed, an Ukrainian interior ministry official said:
"Ukraine's position is to not interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States. However, the published records contain the fact of a possible violation of the legislation of Ukraine and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which protects the rights of a diplomat on the territory of another country...Ukraine cannot ignore such illegal activities on its territory."
Trump's efforts to get a politically beneficial investigation out of Ukraine could result in a politically damning one instead.
The sweet sweet justice was not lost on anyone.
Congratulations to Trump on finally getting Ukraine to announce an investigation into some Americans.— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid)1579181056.0
@ChristopherJM @CathyGellis Trump should be happy, as he finally got his Ukraine investigation, right? :)— Jonathan I. Ezor (@Jonathan I. Ezor)1579177763.0
@ChristopherJM Poor Trump ... you don't always get the investigation you want— John McCarthy (@John McCarthy)1579177932.0
@ChristopherJM Yay. Trump got what he asked for. Ukraine is launching an investigation that might influence the 2020 election outcome.— james haigh (@james haigh)1579180418.0
@ChristopherJM @MiriamElder You see Donald, all you had to be was patient and you would get a Ukrainian criminal in… https://t.co/Ht2MVsk09i— Kevin Roberts (@Kevin Roberts)1579177956.0
@ChristopherJM @S_R_Anders Hey look at that! Trump got Ukraine to launch an investigation!— Ryan Anderson (@Ryan Anderson)1579177921.0
Astonishingly, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department as a whole still haven't commented on the efforts to oust Ambassador Yovanovitch, especially since Pompeo appears to have been meeting with Giuliani and other players in the newly released Parnas documents.
@ChristopherJM @qjurecic So Ukraine has acted to look into a threat against a US Ambassador before the US has ....— Mark Gray (@Mark Gray)1579177320.0
I must say this is truly shocking and yet no investigation from DOJ and no comment from Pompeo. https://t.co/jv2QzUehqV— FeFe Farrell (@FeFe Farrell)1579114032.0
@ChristopherJM Ukraine is taking action before Barr or Pompeo have uttered a word about her safety. Insane.— medit8now (@medit8now)1579177518.0
@ChristopherJM So Ukraine is looking out for the safety of US Ambassadors more than Trump or the US government. Gue… https://t.co/uy3u7NcGUX— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD)1579185935.0
Both Parnas and Hyde have dismissed the idea that one or both of them was physically monitoring Yovanovitch, but we're sure Ukrainian officials will be eager to verify that, if not with the help of U.S. officials as well.