MALDEN, Mass. (CN) — Opening five new criminal cases against a key figure from the impeachment saga, prosecutors asked a judge to keep Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde behind bars ahead of his trial on stalking allegations.
“I would say it’s a danger to the well-being of the victim,” Assistant District Attorney Gina Del Rio Gazzo said in court Friday, referring to Hyde’s conduct on bail. “It’s a danger to her feeling of safety. … It’s putting her in fear.”
Running for Congress in Connecticut over the objections of the state Republican Party, Hyde first drew national headlines as the man whose encrypted chats with Rudy Giuliani’s now-indicted associate Lev Parnas appeared to track the movements of Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. The House Intelligence Committee released those WhatsApp messages during the height President Donald Trump’s Senate trial, but a parallel drama involving Hyde’s interactions with another woman received little attention at the time.
“I’ve never been convicted of anything in my life,” Hyde said in a phone interview Thursday, commenting on his expanding legal troubles and public visibility.
“Look, I’ve never run for office,” Hyde continued. “I’ve never been involved in politics, right? First time in D.C., and I got hit with all, like, I’m a spy.”
Dotting court dockets and police records across Massachusetts, Connecticut and Washington, Hyde’s unrelated and ongoing criminal prosecutions began in civil court. On May 23, 2019, a D.C. Superior Court judge issued a “stay-away” order forbidding Hyde from contacting a female lobbyist who had accused him of stalking, online impersonation and blackmail. Six months later, prosecutors here in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, arraigned Hyde on one count of violating a protective order.
Prosecutors opened five new cases Wednesday accusing Hyde of flouting the previous orders.
“Why are we trying to revoke this guy’s bail?” Malden District Court Judge James LaMothe asked the government today.
“Because since he’s been arraigned, he’s picked up five new complaints,” Del Rio Gazzo answered.
The new complaints in Malden level a total of nine charges, all for allegations of abusing a protective order and criminal harassment.
Asked about the new charges, Hyde replied in a one-word text: “Innocent.”
As quoted in a Massachusetts police report, the D.C. Superior Court protective order Hyde is accused of violating states: “Specifically, the court finds that the respondent committed the following: stalking.”
Courthouse News and other national news organizations have agreed to withhold the name of the alleged victim, a politically connected lobbyist whom prosecutors say fears for her safety.
Hyde, who is running for the 5th Congressional District of Connecticut, wore an American flag pin on his lapel and a blue suit to court Friday. His appeal of the original protective order remains ongoing.
In the new charges, prosecutors claim Hyde sent disparaging emails to his accuser’s clients and her husband under decoy email addresses, threatening to expose Hyde’s alleged affair with the woman.
“These clients then receive these emails and forward them either to the victim or the victim’s husband,” the prosecutor said.
Judge LaMothe agreed with prosecutors that emails sent to third parties, but designed to harass a victim, would violate the order.
“Let me say this then: If you’re correct in your argument that a communication to their client — which, by the substance of it, is intended to be a communication with them — that violates that,” LaMothe warned. “Just so that’s clear.”
The judge wanted more information, however, before sending Hyde to jail based on those allegations.
“You’re asking me to revoke bail based on a bunch of emails,” LaMothe told the prosecutor.
“Yes, I am,” Del Rio Gazzo responded.
Hyde’s attorney Brian Donegan denies that the emails belonged to his client and alleges they were manipulated.
“That’s what I’ve been told by my expert,” Donegan asserted, requesting electronic versions of the messages for his forensic analyst’s inspections.
This is not the first time that Hyde played down communications allegedly linked to him.
In a trove of documents released by the House Intelligence Committee, Hyde and Parnas exchanged text messages appearing to track then-Ambassador Yovanovitch.
“Can’t believe Trum[p] hasn’t fired this bitch,” Hyde fired off on March 23, 2019, adding three hours later: “She’s under heavy protection outside Kiev.”
Hyde and Parnas have claimed that they thought the messages were the congressional candidate’s drunken joke.
Under national scrutiny, Hyde’s social media accounts resembled a “Who’s Who” of photographs connecting him to White House and Republican luminaries, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and recently media personality Eric Bolling, who was fired from Fox News amid allegations of sexual harassment.
At every stage of the impeachment saga, Hyde’s stalking accusations snaked across two states and the nation’s capital. Police records show that D.C. court extended the protective order against Hyde four times. His accuser filed a police report in Massachusetts over an alleged violation last August, sparking the prosecution that remains ongoing.
An Iraq war veteran, Hyde has touted his Marine Corps service in his congressional run.
“Like, I went to Iraq in ’03: It wasn’t as bad as it is in D.C.,” Hyde said in an interview. “Let me tell you that.”
As a result of the protective order, Connecticut police confiscated from Hyde last summer two Remington rifles, Mossberg and Browning shotguns, one Stag rifle, a flare gun, more than 800 rounds of ammunition and magazines, police records show.
Hyde must return to Malden District Court on April 15, when prosecutors will make another request to revoke his bail.