Democratic lawmaker laments Hunter Biden's business dealings in Ukraine

Rep. Mark DeSaulnierMark James DeSaulnierOvernight Health Care: CDC says three feet of distance safe in schools | Surging COVID-19 cases in Europe, Brazil signal warning for US | Biden jabs Trump in first visit to CDC Democrats unveil bill to prevent members of the Sackler family from evading lawsuits through bankruptcy Bipartisan group of lawmakers backs bill 'to save local news' MORE (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that even though there’s no justification for Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine, he argued that the actions taken by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas UN secretary general 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli strike on high rise that housed media outlets Nation's largest nurses union condemns new CDC guidance on masks MORE’s son shouldn’t be compared with those committed by President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE.

“There’s no defending in my view what they did,” DeSaulnier, a member of the House Oversight Committee, told Hill.TV. “That shouldn’t have been done, it was inappropriate.”

“But it’s different in my view from a sitting president asking another president of a foreign country to do him a political favor in order for him to get reelected and withhold American assets to a very, very important ally and a very important opponent of [Russian President] Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinTime for jaw-to-jaw with Moscow Hillicon Valley: Colonial pipeline is back online, but concerns remain | Uber, Lyft struggle with driver supply | Apple cuts controversial hire Menendez calls on Biden to support Armenia amid rising tensions with Azerbaijan MORE,” he added.

His comments come as Trump faces an impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats last month following a whistleblower’s complaint centered on July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The anonymous whistleblower alleged that the president suggested withholding military aid as a way to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

Trump and Republicans have raised concerns about Hunter Biden’s ties to a Ukrainian energy company, as well as the former vice president’s role in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor.

However, no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by either of the Bidens has been found.

During an interview with ABC news earlier this month, Hunter Biden admitted that he exercised "poor judgment" by serving on the board of the Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president, but he maintained that he did not do anything unethical. 

In the weeks since the launch of the inquiry, Trump has stood by his actions and repeatedly lashed out at Democrats over the ongoing probe, even comparing it to a lynching.

"So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights," Trump tweeted on Tuesday. "All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN!"

Trump’s remarks drew swift condemnation from lawmakers, including DeSaulnier.

The president to me is a racist — he used that as a code and he does this frequently,” he told Hill.TV. “He tries to make himself a victim often times of things that he is targeting.”

—Tess Bonn