As President Trump moves in aggressive fashion to block and obstruct congressional investigations, House Democrats seem unsure what to do. The president, who repeatedly refused to cooperate with Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, is blocking testimony, resisting subpoenas, claiming executive privilege and continuing to use his Twitter bully pulpit to dirty public opinion about the legitimacy of anyone asking serious questions about what he is up to. “Trump is goading us to impeach him,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.

Yet Democrats are scared about what comes next. Even as party leaders speak of a “constitutional crisis” and a president who is “becoming self-impeachable,” House Democrats have not yet started impeachment proceedings and many would rather continue with alternative forms of oversight that fall short of the full power Congress has over the White House.

Given the abuses of power by Trump, why are Democrats so worried about starting a process to see whether articles of impeachment are warranted?