How a fight over the border wall could end in a showdown over Robert Mueller

With the possibility of a government shutdown hanging over Congress’ upcoming holiday break, Senate Democrats now have some leverage on their long-held goal of protecting special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. It’s unclear, however, how far they’ll go to use it.

For now, the fight appears mostly focused on President Donald Trump’s demands for funding for a border wall.

Lawmakers face a fiscal deadline on Dec. 7, when they must fund seven appropriations bills, or the government will shut down. The bulk of the disagreement so far has been around funding for a border wall: Trump has told GOP leadership that he wants $5 billion, but Republicans need nine Democrats to meet the 60-vote threshold in the Senate.

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