Chris Hayes went through the released texts from Lev Parnas' phone in their haunting, chilling detail.
In April 2019, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was called back to the states suddenly, based on the deep concern of a State Department official for Yovanovitch's safety. As in, don't even finish sleeping, get on a plane NOW kind of concern. This, of course, left things to our imagination, but we needn't imagine any longer. Now we have texts that detail Rudy Giuliani's pal, Lev Parnas' involvement with Robert Hyde, who was stalking Yovanovitch and talking about paying people in Ukraine to somehow get her removed from her position.
Okay. Now, this appears to be more about Yovanovitch. "She's talking to three people. Her phone is off. Computer is off." Which, again, how does he know her phone and computer is off? Then, "She's next to the embassy." Not IN the embassy. Another text from Hyde, "Private security. Been there since Thursday." "Interesting," comes a response from Lev Parnas. Then Hyde again, "They know she's a political puppet. They will let me know when she's on the move." "Perfect," replies Parnas. "I mean, if they can find out." Another text. "That address I sent checks out." Another one from Hyde, "It's next to the embassy." And then this, "They're willing to help if we, you, would like a price." And then this one. "Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money. What I was told." Okay. So that appears to be a series of texts in realtime from this individual, Robert Hyde, about the movements and security situation about the ambassador, where she is, what she's doing, who she's talking to.
And then it concludes with him asking if Parnas wants a price from the unspecified, individuals presumably in Ukraine, who are doing the tailing. A price for what, I don't know. But him saying, half jokingly, maybe dead serious, maybe completely jokingly, that you can get anything in Ukraine for a price. Okay. That's a text exchange.
Oh, that's a text exchange, alright. That's also hard evidence Yovanovitch was smart to listen to her friend, who was scared for her safety. They knew where she was, they knew how many people were in the room she was in, they knew whether her phone was on, whether her computer was on...this is creepy beyond belief. And the mention of money to do...anything...is just, well, there's that imagination, again.
Hayes brought up that other thing that is enough to make you imagine a horse's head in your bedsheets. Trump's conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky. He mentioned that Amb. Yovanovitch was going to "go through some things." Yeah. Not moblike or ominous or anything.
After Hayes replayed Yovanovitch's testimony in front of Congress, he brought on Natasha Bertrand and asked her where her mind went when she read these texts.
BERTRAND: Yeah, I mean, my mind, obviously, went to the worst possible scenario, which is that they might have been planning to harm her in some way. That's really when you read the text messages and they say that they're willing to do things for money and that in Ukraine, they can just do these things, that kind of leads you to the logical conclusion that, perhaps, they're planning some kind of attack on the ambassador. But stepping back for a moment, you know, Hyde is kind of outlandish, to say the least.
She goes on to explaiin that Hyde had been kicked out of Doral for making wild accusations of being surveilled himself and that perhaps he was saying these things to impress Parnas. Even so, though, she maintained that just the fact that there were people who, with Trump and Giuliani's approval were stalking Amb. Yovanovitch and hacking into her phone and laptop represented serious security risks and breaches that need to be addressed.
Hopefully the Democrats in the Senate will address them appropriately. And maybe even four Republicans.