Pelosi threatens to demand Mueller protection language in spending bill

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCalifornia Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry California Democrat in swing district calls for Trump impeachment inquiry Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments MORE (D-Calif.) says Democrats will demand that protections for 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 be included in a must-pass spending bill if GOP leaders fail to bring the legislation to the floor.

The Thursday threat comes on the heels of news that Michael Cohen, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE’s former personal attorney, has entered into a plea agreement with Mueller and agreed to cooperate in the special counsel’s sprawling Russia probe. Cohen pleaded guilty to lying last year to congressional panels investigating Russian interference in the election.

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“The Congress must immediately pass legislation to preserve the Special Counsel investigation, which is identical to bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee," Pelosi said in a statement.

“If Speaker Ryan refuses to take up that bill, House Democrats will fight to include language to protect the investigation in the upcoming must-pass spending bill.”

Pelosi’s Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerEx-state senator in North Carolina enters race against Tillis Ex-state senator in North Carolina enters race against Tillis Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw MORE (D-N.Y.), has been issuing similar threats ahead of Dec. 7 government funding deadline.

Trump and the GOP need the support of Democrats in the Senate to pass any legislation, though they don't require the cooperation of Democrats in the House.

Trump, meanwhile, is demanding $5 billion for his border wall in the spending package — far more than the $1.6 billion Democrats are willing to give up — which has further raised the prospects of a government shutdown next week.

Both House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanIndiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Inside Biden's preparations for first debate MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJon Stewart rips into McConnell for saying he's 'bent out of shape' over 9/11 victim fund Jon Stewart rips into McConnell for saying he's 'bent out of shape' over 9/11 victim fund Tensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat MORE (R-Ky.) have said legislation to protect the Russia probe are unnecessary — even after Trump fired Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSarah Sanders to leave White House Sarah Sanders to leave White House Barr compares his return to DOJ to D-Day invasion MORE and replaced him with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who has been vocally critical of the Russia probe.

But retiring Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeDemocrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Ariz.) has vowed to block all judicial nominations until the Senate considers a Mueller protection bill. Senate GOP leaders, seeking to diffuse the situation, said they would gauge support for the legislation.

Efforts by Flake to bring the bill to the Senate floor have been blocked thus far.