- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus said Tuesday that he and his colleagues have moved beyond impeachment talk after the release of the special counsel’s report, saying they’re ready to tackle health care, equal pay and other issues.

“We didn’t run on impeachment, we didn’t win the House of Representatives on impeachment, we’re not focused on impeachment,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, New York Democrat.

He and his colleagues have been holding an internal debate over the last two days over how to respond to Robert Mueller’s findings, as explained in a four-page summary from Attorney General William Barr.

According to Mr. Barr, the special counsel found no evidence Trump campaign figures worked with Russia to subvert the 2016 election, and didn’t find enough evidence to bring an obstruction of justice case against President Trump himself.

That was a devastating blow to some Democrats who’d been counting on criminal charges.



Mr. Jeffries said Democrats are still pushing to get a look at Mr. Mueller’s full work, but said the party’s public argument to voters will be over policy issues, not Mr. Trump.

“House Democrats are focused on kitchen table pocketbook issues,” he said.

He and fellow Democrats bristled at the charge that they are quickly shifting in the wake of the Mueller report.

Mr. Jeffries pointed out that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had shot down impeachment talk weeks ago, and he said most Democrats embraced her sentiment.

And he said the evidence that Democrats have been focused on matters other than presidential investigation and impeachment can be seen in the first hearings held earlier this year by major committees. He said they all focused on health care issues.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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