Pelosi tells Democrats to focus on Constitution, not Trump

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

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Trump lashes out at Pelosi as she visits Jordan to discuss Syria Thomas D'Alesandro III, brother of Nancy Pelosi, dies at 90 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 BustosDCCC leader advises Democrats to keep messaging on impeachment 'simple' House Democratic campaign arm raises .4 million in third quarter Pelosi tells Democrats to focus on Constitution, not Trump 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 JeffriesLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings House chairman: Pompeo not complying with impeachment inquiry Sunday shows - Second whistleblower grabs spotlight 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 NadlerDem committee chairs blast Trump G-7 announcement Top Democrat holds moment of silence for Cummings at hearing Barr to speak at Notre Dame law school on Friday 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 BidenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Romney: Republicans don't criticize Trump because they fear it will help Warren 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.