Exclusive: Democrats call for criminal charges against Donald Trump after fifth public hearing of J6 committee
Donald Trump (Photo by Robyn Beck for AFP)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) told Raw Story that after watching the first half of the fifth public hearing from the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress that she's convinced there should be criminal charges against the former president.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted that the key piece of evidence for him was when Donald Trump ordered DOJ lawyers, "Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen."

Holder explained, "Coupled with other testimony demonstrates both Trump’s substantive involvement and corrupt intent, requisite state of mind." He went on to say that all of the lawyers involved in it should be disbarred.

"I came here because I wanted to see how near the Department of Justice came to helping to trump the very document that they are supposed to defend, and that's the Constitution," said Lee, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

She went on to cite three pillars of the committee hearings, "It is initially Trump's involvement with outside people. Trump's creating the atmosphere for the insurrection and the attacking of the vice president. And then, how the government played such an intimate role in listening to the lawyers directed by the commander in chief —which should give us pause about the powers of the commander in chief — that is unmonitored, unsupervised, to a certain extent."

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Lee explained that while Americans are going about their daily lives "much havoc can be created by a single office-holder."

"The very fact that the president had been stopped by nothing and then that the legislature, another branch of government to be under his powers and domain as well and he can manipulate them is a very dangerous position — a poison for preserving democracy," Lee continued.

Lee explained to Raw Story that it isn't Congress' goal to indict anyone but it's to ensure that the American people know what happened.

"We are hesitant to indict or hold criminally liable a president of the United States either present or former," Lee said. "I have never seen a set of facts like this. I would never do it recklessly or without thought, but I believe it's important for the Constitution to have import, to have impact, to continue its glory and for the three branches of government to be distinguished as it is in the Constitution. That the insurrectionist in chief must be indicted, ultimately tried and may not get jail time. I'm not pushing for anything but accountability. There must be a sense of accountability beyond the individual insurrectionists that the DOJ is now prosecuting that they came at the call, at the behest of the emotion of the former president of the United States."

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With additional reporting from Matt Laslo.