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Mueller's budget tops $3.2 million so far in Trump-Russia probe

Mueller's budget tops $3.2 million so far in Trump-Russia probe

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

In addition, the department said that its various offices have also spent another $3.5 million to help assist the probe, though those expenditures would have occurred "irrespective of the existence of the" special counsel's office.

Mueller incorporated several active investigations within the Justice Department including those of Trump campaign contacts with Russian Federation, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's business activities and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Mueller's spending "is entirely reasonable given the results we've already seen", Sen.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, a member of the House Judiciary Committee who drafted the measure, conceded Tuesday that the dollar figure is relatively low, but said he remains concerned that Mueller's investigation is still a waste. Manafort and Gates have entered not guilty pleas in defense of a number of business related charges.

A release from the Special Counsel's Office says that new expenditure reports will be released every six months, with the next one coming on March 30, 2018.




The special counsel's budget itself has not been made public. Starr's predecessor, Robert Fiske, spent an additional $6 million investigating the Clintons' involvement in the Whitewater real estate deal, according to a May 1999 GAO report. On average, according to FiveThirtyEight, previous special counsel investigations that have filed criminal charges have taken more than a year to do so.

The single biggest cost was $1.7 million for salaries and benefits, including $500,000 for special counsel employees and $1.2 million for Department of Justice staff working under Mueller.

Mueller was appointed special counsel in May, after President Donald Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Last week, former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

Mueller has issued indictments or received guilty pleas from four former Trump campaign associates.


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