Lieu accuses Trump of asking Ukraine to 'manufacture dirt' on Biden

Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuDemocratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' Democratic lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Paralysis of nations is empowering cities MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE of asking Ukraine to “manufacture dirt” on a political opponent, Joe BidenJoe BidenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump MORE.

Lieu, a frequent critic of Trump, emphasized during an appearance on Hill.TV that Ukrainian officials already looked into accusations surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden’s son over Hunter Biden's alleged business dealings in the country and did find  any evidence of corruption.

“What evidence actually shows is the Ukrainians actually looked into this, terminated the investigation and found nothing there,” Lieu said on “Rising.”

“So this is just made up, which is also very troubling because you have the American president essentially asking the Ukrainians to manufacture dirt on political opponent because there really was not evidence of corruption,” he added.

After months of resisting impeachment calls, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiClinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views on misinformation Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president MORE (D-Calif.) late Tuesday announced that the House would begin a formal impeachment inquiry into the president, following a growing scandal over a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Pelosi said her decision was sparked by Trump’s own admission that he had spoken with Zelensky about looking into Biden, the frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race.

"This week, the president has admitted to asking the President of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically,” Pelosi said during her announcement. “The actions of the Trump presidency revealed the dishonorable fact of the President's betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”

A day after Pelosi made the announcement, the White House released a five-page partial transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president that shows Trump urging Zelensky to speak with his personal attorney, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDemocrats see Mulvaney as smoking gun witness at Trump trial Pompeo lashes out at 'shameful' NPR reporter Trump legal team launches impeachment defense MORE, and to “look into” his allegations against Biden.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the exchange as a “nothing call.”

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have made it clear that they would kill any articles of impeachment that pass in the House, and warned that Democrats could face a political backlash in 2020 if they move forward with impeachment. 

—Tess Bonn