MALDEN, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts judge is considering whether to revoke bail in a protective order case against a Connecticut man who has emerged as a figure in the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
A prosecutor made the request to revoke Robert F. Hyde's bail during a hearing in Malden District Court on Thursday, with police accusing Hyde of repeatedly violating a civil protective order obtained by a political consultant, The Hartford Courant reported.
The consultant obtained the restraining order last summer, accusing Hyde of harassing and stalking her. She lives in Massachusetts and works frequently in Washington, D.C. The Courant reported it was not naming the woman because she fears for her safety.
The judge did not immediately rule and scheduled the next court date for March 6.
A text message seeking comment was sent to Hyde on Friday. His lawyer did not respond to a request by the Courant for comment.
Hyde, of Simsbury, Connecticut, made headlines Tuesday when House Democrats' released text messages between Hyde and Lev Parnas, a close associate of Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. In the messages, Hyde disparages U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and purportedly gives Parnas updates on her location and cellphone use. While it remains unclear how Hyde first connected with Parnas, a review of court records and police reports depict a man who struggled with extensive financial and legal problems, including police concerns about his mental health and debt racked up at the Trump National Doral Resort in Florida.
Before Tuesday, Hyde was known in Connecticut as an obscure Republican candidate for Congress in the state's 5th District who was censured by his own party's leaders for offensive and misogynistic tweets.
Hyde, a former landscaping company owner who presents himself on social media as an ardent supporter Trump, has denied any involvement in Ukraine. In a wide-ranging interview with the Courant on Friday, Hyde insisted he was “joking around” when texting about Yovanovitch.
“I thought they were joking because everybody said they were jokers, con men, losers, scumbags,” he told the newspaper. "So when they were sending me these texts, I’m like, whatever, dude, yeah, under surveillance, just joking.”
He added: "I’m not a gangster. I don’t know these people. I don’t have anything to do with them. I’m just a landscaper. I’m not in the business of hurting people — I never have been.”
Hyde insisted during the interview he has done nothing wrong, has been misrepresented in the media, has not spoken to federal investigators and is remaining in Connecticut's race for the 5th Congressional District, despite calls by top Republicans to get out.
"I’m running for Congress for the right reasons,” Hyde told the newspaper. “I believe the swamp is very real. There’s nothing more disgusting than the swamp. I’m running for Congress. I’ve never been prescribed any drugs. I’m not an alcoholic. I’ve never been charged with any crime.”