Pelosi threatens to demand Mueller protection language in spending bill

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiIsrael boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate McConnell predicts no shutdown: Trump 'flexible' on border deal Ocasio-Cortez had highest percentage of small donors in midterms: report MORE (D-Calif.) says Democrats will demand that protections for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate 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 SchumerMake Trump own the shutdown over his ill-advised border wall More than a tantrum McConnell’s marijuana conundrum: Cory Gardner 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 RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Flynn awaits sentencing | White House signals it wants to avoid shutdown Missing: Fiscal sanity in Washington On The Money: Latest on border wall fight | Dems prep for long shutdown | Trump finds himself isolated | Stocks sink ahead of Fed meeting, funding deadline | Trump offers new round of farm aid MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellIsrael boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate Schumer blasts GOP request for immigration 'slush fund' Trump: 'Too early to say' if shutdown will be averted MORE (R-Ky.) have said legislation to protect the Russia probe are unnecessary — even after Trump fired Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPresidential historian: Trump's actions may be 'definition of treason' if he knew about Russian interference efforts Trump admin seeks to roll back Obama-era policy on school discipline: report Trump: Sessions 'should be ashamed of himself' for allowing Russia probe to proceed 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 FlakeArizona gov taps McSally for McCain Senate seat The Hill's Morning Report — What a shutdown would mean for the government Corker dodges on Trump primary question 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.