Mueller details $3M spent on early months of Russian Federation probe


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will testify next week before the House Judiciary Committee about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's "Russiagate" probe cost U.S. taxpayers $3.2 million in the first six months, mostly on salaries and benefits.

Beyond the $3.2 million being spent directly by Mueller's team, an additional $3.5 million was spent by other entities in the DOJ that are involved in investigations supporting Mueller's probe.

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It's hard to make comparisons to other investigations led by specially designated prosecutors or to draw conclusions about how much Mueller will ultimately spend. He has announced criminal charges against four people so far, including Trump's former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The expenses are those incurred between the May 17 appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel and September 30.

Another $733,969 was spent on equipment, but the report does not provide details. The independent counsel spent more than $60 million over the course of that six-year inquiry into then-President Bill Clinton. Payrolls for special counsel employees totaled about $500,000. In the report released Tuesday, Mueller's office noted that previous special counsels only reported direct costs and not those incurred separately by the Justice Department on their own expenditure reports.

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So far, Mueller's team has charged four people as part of the ongoing investigation.

A day later, the DOJ announced that former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents during the investigation about his contacts with three individuals said to have had connections to the Russian government.

In a statement, the special counsel's office said it will release a similar expenditure report after March 31, 2018. Manafort and Gates have entered not guilty pleas in defense of a number of business related charges.

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