Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, has introduced legislation that would automatically require the establishment of a special counsel whenever there is a criminal investigation against the president, the vice president, their spouses or their children.

Jackson Lee said her bill, the Trump Special Counsel Act, is needed because President Trump appears to be obstructing justice through his firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Democrats have accused Trump of making that move to hinder the FBI investigation into Trump's ties to Russia.

"The onslaught of scandals surrounding the Trump Presidency have led our democracy to a crossing point," she said in a Facebook post. "Will we uphold the rule of law or allow for the continued obstruction of justice by a Chief Executive who brazenly abuses his power?"

"Americans need to know the truth about Russia's interference in our election and the collusion of Russian agents and Trump campaign officials," she added. "But following the president's abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey and revelations Trump pressured Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, it is abundantly clear that an outside independent prosecutor is required to find the facts."

Her bill would change U.S. law in a way that would automatically require the establishment of a special counsel, operating apart from the administration, whenever the president, vice president and their immediate families are subject to a criminal investigation.

A special counsel would also be triggered by criminal probes into entities owned by the president or vice president.