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

Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuWyden urges FCC to secure 5G networks against cyber threats Democrat hits White House spokeswoman after Trump appointee changes testimony PETA asks DOJ to stop conducting training that harms animals MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE of asking Ukraine to “manufacture dirt” on a political opponent, Joe BidenJoe BidenMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Democrats release two new transcripts ahead of next public impeachment hearings Press: Ukraine's not the only outrage 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 PelosiFeehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Key GOP senator: 'We need a breakthrough' on spending talks Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran 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 release two new transcripts ahead of next public impeachment hearings GOP senator calls impeachment 'sabotage' effort, raises questions about witness on eve of testimony Impeachment guide: The 9 witnesses testifying this week 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