- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 26, 2019

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries on Sunday said the House will not “overreach” in its oversight responsibilities, amid calls from some Democrats to start moving forward on impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

He said lawmakers are currently in “fact-gathering mode” and that Democrats have not held their new majority in the House for that long.

“I think we have to proceed methodically. We have to gather the information, and then at a certain point we’ll have to make a determination as to how best to present that to the American people,” Mr. Jeffries, New York Democrat, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Mr Jeffries said there’s reason to believe that Mr. Trump obstructed justice, and that it appears that “so-called” Attorney General William Barr misrepresented the conclusions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“But we will not overreach. We will not over-investigate,” he said, saying they won’t “over-politicize” the responsibility of providing oversight on the executive branch.

“We’ll proceed, as Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi has eloquently laid out, methodically yet aggressively to get to the truth,” he said.

He said the party has to keep its focus primarily on their legislative agenda in areas like health care, though the president has said he doesn’t want to do that as long as there are ongoing investigations into the White House.

“Democrats can sing and dance at the same time, just like Beyonce,” Mr. Jeffries said.

But prospects for bipartisanship appear on hold, at least for the moment, after a the collapse of a meeting at the White House last week between Mr. Trump and Democratic leaders that was supposed to be about infrastructure.

Mr. Trump says the Democrats want Mr. Mueller’s investigation, which could not establish that his campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

“You can’t investigate and legislate simultaneously — it just doesn’t work that way,” Mr. Trump said last week.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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