Monday, 18 June, 2018

Mueller probe's expenses totaled $3M in early months

NEW Here's How Much the Special Counsel Has Cost So Far Mueller probe's expenses totaled $3M in early months
Kenny Thornton | 06 December, 2017, 16:32

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to influence the 2016 election cost the government about $6.7 million in Mueller's first four and a half months in office, according to a report released by the Justice Department on Tuesday.

The details of the expenditures related to Mueller's investigation were laid out in a report released publicly by the special counsel's office.

The greatest expense was for the temporary reassignment of Justice Department employees, the report said, which totaled $1.2 million in the period. The majority of the travel costs stemmed from the relocation of Justice Department employees temporarily assigned to the expanding investigation.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat and the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Mueller's spending "entirely reasonable given the results we've already seen".

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Mueller was appointed in May after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who had been leading the investigation.

The money was spent between mid-May, when the investigation began, and September 30 of this year.

The $3.2 million spent only covers Mueller's probe, not the various congressional investigations of Russia's meddling in the election. Mueller also disclosed that he secured a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, who was a junior foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign, for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about contacts with Russian operatives. "With two individuals having entered guilty pleas and two more facing federal charges, it's clear the investigation is moving forward", she said in a statement. The private practice lawyers who joined Mueller's office each gave up more than a million dollars in annual pay, according to their previously reported financial disclosures.

So far, four people have been indicted in Mueller's investigation: Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, businessman Rick Gates, campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos and former White House National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn.

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