Texts From A Mysterious Belgian Number Shed Light On Possible Surveillance Of Ambassador To Ukraine
Chuck Ross on January 17, 2020
House Democrats on Friday released text messages that shed new light on a possible surveillance campaign against Marie Yovanovitch when she served as ambassador to Ukraine.
The documents are screenshots of messages between Robert Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate, and an individual he identified Friday as Anthony de Caluwe.
The messages show that the man Hyde identified de Caluwe appeared to provide updates on Yovanovitch’s activities.
Hyde emerged as the latest player in the Ukraine saga on Wednesday when Democrats released a batch of text messages supplied by Lev Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman who worked closely with Rudy Giuliani to collecting information about Yovanovitch.
Parnas was indicted on Oct. 10 on campaign finance charges.
According to messages released on Wednesday, Hyde told Parnas in a March 23, 2019 text that “private security” was monitoring Yovanovitch.
“She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Computer is off,” he added.
The information that Hyde gave Parnas appears to match up with what de Caluwe supplied Hyde.
“Nothing has changed she is still not moving they check today again,” de Caluwe wrote Hyde from a Belgian phone number.
“It’s confirmed we have a person inside.”
“She been there since Thursday never left the embassy,” he wrote in another message.
Text message from House Judiciary Committee documents released on Jan. 17, 2020
It is unknown whether de Caluwe actually had visibility into Yovanovitch’s activities in Ukraine. He did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails on Friday.
The Ukrainian national police and U.S. State Department are investigating the potential surveillance against Yovanovitch.
Hyde downplayed his role in the possible spy campaign, saying in a video posted on his Twitter account that he was merely passing information from de Caluwe to Parnas.
“Like I have anybody over in Ukraine. Are you serious?” he said.
“It was just copy and paste bullshit from some intel guy, probably, that was fucking with me, trying to set Trump up.”
The messages do not identify de Caluwe by name as Hyde’s interlocutor. But the avatar used in the messages match photos on de Caluwe’s Facebook account. The account includes numerous pro-Trump posts, including some with de Caluwe wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, and posing at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
de Caluwe is also posed with Hyde in a photo at a Republican Party of Florida event. The post is dated Aug. 24, 2018.
The Facebook page also includes photos of de Caluwe with various politicians, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
de Caluwe, whose Facebook account says is based in Palm Beach, Fla., does not appear to be a big-time player in Republican politics or Trumpworld. Instead, his social media posts suggest he is one of numerous hangers-on who has been able to gain access to the Trump orbit.
de Caluwe’s profile on AngelList, a website for upstart businesses, lists his company as Track & Trace New IT Tech Company. A Belgian phone number listed on the page matches up with the number in the text messages with Hyde.
A cross-check of other phone numbers and email addresses listed on the AngelList page indicates that de Caluwe has used multiple aliases over the years. The numbers and email addresses return search results for Anthony Heavenrich, Anthony Hemelrijk, Anthony von Himmelreich, and Anthony Calloway.
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