Pelosi: House Democrats 'not even close' to backing impeachment

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi slated to deliver remarks during panel hearing on poverty The DNC's climate problems run deep Cracks form in Democratic dam against impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that House Democrats are “not even close” to backing an impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE.

Pelosi was asked at an event in Washington, D.C., if she would support launching impeachment proceedings if more than half of her 235 Democratic members did.

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“It’s not even close in our caucus,” Pelosi told the moderator, CNN’s Manu Raju.

“Why are we speculating on hypotheticals?" she asked. "What we’re doing is winning in court. We won a victory getting the documents from the Justice Department today for fear of further going to court.”

Pelosi faces mounting pressure from rank-and-file Democrats, some committee chairmen and even members of her own leadership team who are pushing for an impeachment inquiry.

According to The Hill's whip list, at least 56 House Democrats now support launching that inquiry — a figure that’s more than doubled since former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE held a news conference and said his team could not exonerate the president of obstruction.

But pro-impeachment Democrats still represent fewer than one-quarter of the total number of Pelosi’s caucus.

The Speaker, who lived through former President Nixon’s impeachment and served in Congress during former President Clinton’s, has warned that moving to impeach Trump would rip the country apart. And senior Democrats say it could backfire politically as Democrats try to hold the House and take back the Senate and White House.

“There is nothing as divisive in our country, in my view, than impeachment,” Pelosi said Tuesday.

Instead, Pelosi said House Democrats would methodically continue their investigations into the Trump administration and his businesses. Once they have more evidence, Democrats will determine whether to move forward on impeachment.

“It's not off the table,” Pelosi said. “I don't think you should impeach for political reasons and I don't think you should not impeach for political reasons. It's not about politics. It's not about Democrats and Republicans. It's about patriotism to our country. It's upholding the Constitution of the United States.”