Liberals want Trump impeached, but centrist freshmen may have the final say

More than 40 Democratic newcomers captured Republican seats last year, and nearly all are on a list of 44 incumbents known as “front-line Democrats” who are deemed endangered by the House Democrats’ campaign arm. Many say their constituents have expressed little interest in impeachment, and polls back that up: A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday found that Americans oppose opening an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump by nearly a two-to-one ratio.

The Times interviewed 15 majority makers, nearly all freshmen, for this article. Only one, Representative Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, has already called for an impeachment inquiry. All seemed deeply troubled — “incredibly concerned,” said Representative Angie Craig of Minnesota — by Mr. Mueller’s findings that the president may have obstructed justice. But they saw no need to rush, and said Congress must bring the public along…

Protecting front-line Democrats is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s top priority, one reason she is insisting on a go-slow approach. Instead of opening a formal impeachment inquiry, Democrats are scheduling “oversight” or “investigative” hearings to examine Mr. Mueller’s findings, especially the 10 or so instances in which the president may have obstructed justice. The difference might be more semantic than substantive, but it allows skittish Democrats to avoid using what Mr. Trump has taken to calling “the I-word.”