Russian Senator Says Trump Impeachment Investigation Is Part of Democrat 2020 Election Strategy, Not Based on 'Substance'

A Russian senator has suggested that the nascent impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump is an electioneering strategy from the Democratic Party, warning that Tuesday's developments cast doubt on the sincerity of Democratic leaders.

Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Russian upper house's Foreign Affairs Committee, said Wednesday that he does not believe the impeachment investigation against Trump will be conducted based on substance, but rather on the interests of Democrats seeking to take back the White House.

Kosachev told Russian state news agency Tass that the impeachment investigation "is certainly a domestic U.S. affair," although the scandal that prompted the probe centered on Trump's possible abuse of power regarding military aid destined for Ukraine, which remains at war with Moscow-backed militias in the east of the country.

Trump is alleged to have pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden over claims that, while vice president in 2016, Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to drop an investigation into his son Hunter, who had worked in Ukraine for the Burisma gas company.

In return, Trump reportedly promised to release $250 million in military funding for Ukraine, which the White House froze just days before the president's call with Zelenksy.

There is no evidence to suggest that the Bidens were involved in corruption in Ukraine. The allegations center on Biden asking the Ukrainian government to remove its top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who had previously led an investigation into Burisma's owner.

The U.S., its allies, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were all seeking Shokin's dismissal, believing him to be slow-rolling corruption investigations.

Regardless, Trump and his allies have sought to cast Biden as corrupt. Earlier this week, Trump suggested that any Republican who did what Biden did would "be getting the electric chair right now."

The president has dismissed allegations of his own wrongdoing as a politically-motivated "witch hunt garbage," and claimed that the looming impeachment investigation will actually help rather than harm his re-election prospects.

Kosachev echoed Trump's view that the investigation is a partisan one. "Neither the grounds, nor the procedures nor the prospects are clear now," he told Tass.

"There are grounds to believe that the outcome of this situation will depend not on the substance of the issue but on the interests of conflicting sides in the context of the 2020 election campaign. Certainly, this does not add trust in the sincerity of these impeachment initiators."

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President Donald Trump speaks to the media at the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2019 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Getty