SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Former Syracuse-area Congressman James Walsh, a Republican, says former President Donald Trump should face criminal charges for his role in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Walsh, now retired, shared his opinion on this week’s edition of Newsmakers.

When asked directly if “Donald Trump or people in his inner circle should face criminal charges,” Walsh said, “I do.”

He elaborated: “I think it would traumatic for the country, but he doesn’t have the good sense not to run again. I think he needs to be prevented from running again.”

“It would be really ugly if he were charged but I think he should be,” said Walsh.

Walsh said he’d worry about public violence from Trump loyalists, “but we have to protect this democracy. That’s the most important thing.”

In a January opinion editorial in after the January 6th insurrection, Walsh suggested the GOP needs to drop its association with the former president to save American democracy.

Walsh’s elevated opinion about criminal charges is based on his observations of the public hearings held by the January 6th Committee investigating the attack.

Walsh praised fellow Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney for her role in the investigation.

Newsmakers with Andrew Donovan airs Friday at 12:30pm, Saturday at 5:30am, Sunday at 5:30pm and will be posted in its entirety Friday afternoon on