Pelosi asks Ryan to extend Russia investigation

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is pressuring House Republicans not to shut down an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, Pelosi says Democrats are "deeply concerned" about GOP efforts to wrap up the investigation. Republicans on the House intelligence panel are conducting some of their final interviews this week after looking into the meddling for much of the last year. Democrats on the committee say they are rushing a conclusion.

In the letter, Pelosi says "political haste must not cut short valid investigatory threads." She says many questions about the foreign interference remain.

Ryan appoints members of the intelligence committee, and could pressure the panel to extend the investigation. But he has largely stayed away from discussing it.

Republicans and Democrats are waging a partisan messaging battle in the final days of 2017 to establish an enduring narrative on multiple Russia investigations and the integrity of the investigators.

The fight has intensified as special counsel Robert Mueller has appeared to focus more intently on President Donald Trump and his inner circle.

Congressional Republicans who have endured almost a year's worth of speculation and investigations into Trump's ties to Russia are hoping to move on from that topic in 2018, renewing focus on Democrat Hillary Clinton and stepping up criticism of Mueller.

Democrats remain focused on Trump and are pushing to keep congressional Russia investigations going.

On Thursday, two GOP-led committees began interviews in a new investigation into the FBI and its 2016 inquiry into Clinton's email server.

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