Donald Trump’s controversial phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has gripped the United States. The scandal has sparked formal impeachment proceedings, and some believe that Trump’s luck has finally run out. Others focus on Trump’s goal — getting Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter — and suggest that Biden should be facing just as much scrutiny.
Regardless, Newsweek reports that Russia’s reaction to the scandal has been fairly consistent: it’s not a good look for the U.S. The softest criticism came from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, who suggested that the release of the memo of Trump’s call was “uncommon in interstate diplomatic practice.”
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova was more blunt.
“Is it the U.S. Democrats’ job to turn their country into the laughingstock of the world?” she asked in a Facebook post. “That’s exactly what Mrs. Pelosi has done with Congress, the White House and other government agencies.”
According to Senator Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Russian senate’s foreign affairs committee, the memo was “empty” and he did not believe the impeachment inquiry was substantive. He also said that the conversation between Trump and Zelensky was “anti-Russian [and] dirty.”
“It’s humiliating for Ukraine. It’s typical for the U.S.”
#Russia is not ready to dump Trump:
Kremlin-controlled state TV hosts throw buckets of mud on #Ukraine, insist it should investigate Biden and conclude that "Republican majority in the Senate won’t allow President Donald Trump—whom we elected— to be impeached. It’s impossible." pic.twitter.com/d7NL1mL4Bp
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 25, 2019
Senator Alexei Pushkov claims that the Democrats reaction to the phone call is “hysteria” and believes that they are using the scandal as a way to simultaneously push impeachment forward and draw focus away from Biden’s pressure of Ukranian authorities to defend Hunter’s business.
Per Vox, there are four potential crimes stemming from the Ukraine scandal that could implicate Trump and his top aides: violation of campaign finance law, bribery, extortion, and obstruction of justice. According to Fox News’ legal expert Andrew Napolitano, Trump committed an “impeachable offense” adding that he “walked into the area of bribery.”
Napolitano made the comments during his show, Judge Napolitano’s Chambers. He told viewers that soliciting help from a foreign government under the assumption that it will “acquire aid” for the favor is a felony.
The Ukraine scandal has pushed many to call for Trump’s impeachment. Even Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who initially opposed to inquiry out of concerns that it would continue to divide the country, changed her tune after reading the transcript of the controversial call.
“If we allow the President to abuse his or her power, then our society will rot from top to bottom,” he said in a statement.