Pelosi told House Democrats on a conference call Friday, "The public isn't there on impeachment."
She told them the case needs to be "as strong" as possible.
"If and when we act, people will know he gave us no choice," Pelosi said, according to an aide granted anonymity to discuss the private call.
More than half the House Democrats support opening an impeachment inquiry. But Pelosi said the House must weigh its "responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution" with the need to be "unifying and not dividing."
She also said she's using a nightguard because it's "very hard" not to grind her teeth "all night about what's going on in the White House."
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