Pelosi tells Democrats to focus on Constitution, not Trump

Pelosi tells Democrats to focus on Constitution, not Trump
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Social Security emerges as flash point in Biden-Sanders fight | Dems urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency | Trump to sign USMCA next week Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address MORE (D-Calif.) is reportedly urging members of her caucus to focus on their constitutional duties, and not President Trump, as the House moves forward with an impeachment inquiry. 

Pelosi and top House Democrats doubled down on that focus during a private conference call with members Sunday afternoon, emphasizing the need to put congressional responsibility ahead of politics. 

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“I’m in Texas and they have a saying here: ‘Don’t Mess with Texas.’ Well, I say, ‘Don’t Mess with the Constitution, Mr. President,’ ” Pelosi said, according to an aide on the call. 

The aide said the Speaker told members the inquiry “isn’t about politics” or partisanship — “It’s about patriotism,” she said. 

“The idea that this has anything to do with whether you like him or not — forget that. That’s about the election. This is about the Constitution,” Pelosi said, according to an aide. 

The call was first reported by Politico

The news outlet reports that Rep. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea Bustos Democrats plot new approach to win over rural voters The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders, Warren feud rattles Democrats House Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts MORE (D-Ill.), head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), told vulnerable members to test their message in polling across their districts. 

The aide on the call said the Speaker also reiterated that the “polls have changed drastically about this.”

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesHakeem Jeffries tells Senate in impeachment proceedings they should subpoena Baseball Hall of Fame after Jeter vote Video becomes vital part of Democrats' case against Trump Female impeachment managers say American public know a 'rigged' trial when they see one MORE (N.Y.) also reportedly outlined a plan for members to use “repetition” with six words: “betrayal, abuse of power, national security."

“If we stick to the Speaker’s plan, we will prevail,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerNadler calls Trump a 'dictator' on Senate floor Poll: Majority think Senate should call witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Susan Collins asked Justice Roberts to intervene after Nadler late-night 'cover-up' accusation MORE (D-N.Y.) added, according to Politico. 

A spokesperson for Pelosi’s office was not immediately available for comment regarding the reported conference call. 

Bustos also reportedly cited the DCCC’s first poll on impeachment since Pelosi launched a formal inquiry last week. Politico reports the poll found 54 percent of likely voters support the inquiry. 

Other polls showed an increase in public support for impeachment since the formal inquiry was launched amid new allegations that Trump encouraged Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE and his son. Trump has continued to defend his call with the Ukrainian leader, saying it was appropriate.

A CBS News survey conducted by YouGov released Sunday showed that 55 percent of Americans support an impeachment inquiry. 

A Hill-HarrisX survey on Friday found support for impeachment proceedings rose to 47 percent, a 12-point increase compared to a poll conducted three months ago. 

Almost all House Democrats have backed the impeachment inquiry.

Speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival on Saturday, Pelosi similarly brushed off concerns over political ramifications. 

"It doesn’t matter," Pelosi said, referring to the possibility of losing control of the House in 2020. “Our first responsibility is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Updated at 8:27 a.m.