Federal investigators visited Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde's home and office in Connecticut on Thursday, a few days after texts he sent about spying on the former ambassador to Ukraine emerged, CNN reports.
An FBI agent was spotted by Hyde's neighbor arriving at the candidate's house early in morning, before dawn, parking in front of the house but not entering it. The agent left by 10:30 a.m., according to the neighbor.
Hyde had suggested in texts sent to Lev Parnas, an associate of President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, that he knew people who were keeping former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch under surveillance. He told NBC News that he had been joking and was drunk when he sent the texts.
"You meet a bunch of these characters when you're out there in the fundraising at events and supporting candidates," Hyde said. "And you know, we just had some colorful texts, you know, had a few pops way back when."
He added, "it was just colorful — we were playing, I thought we were playing. I didn't know he was, I didn't know he was so serious."
Despite Hyde's denial, Connecticut Republican Party chairman J.R. Romano has called on him to drop out of the race.
"It's not helpful to the president. It's not helpful to other Republican candidates. And it provides an opportunity for Democrats to raise money. It allows the opposition to label all Republicans with these comments," J.R. Romano told CNN.
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