Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Mueller investigation cost $6.7 million within first five months

Mueller investigation cost $6.7 million within first five months

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.

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.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's "Russiagate" probe cost USA taxpayers $3.2 million in the first six months, mostly on salaries and benefits. The office said those expenses would have been incurred "irrespective of the existence of the SCO".

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The special counsel also spent $223,643 on travel, nearly entirely for staffers who temporary relocated to the investigation's headquarters in Washington. Some of the costs in the budget are for expenses the Justice Department would have already spent on other teams, such as for employees on detail to Mueller from other DOJ divisions.

The figures were revealed in a Justice Department report released Tuesday.

Mueller's 17 lawyers - some reassigned from within the government and others brought in from private practice - have charged or negotiated plea deals with four former Trump campaign or administration officials, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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The special counsel investigation run by Robert Mueller has cost taxpayers more in four months than what the investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attack cost in over two years. A Senate vote in February 1999 failed to convict Clinton on those charges. Rosenstein, who wrote the memo that was the basis for Trump's firing of James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, is overseeing Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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 its report, Mueller's team notes that it draws its funding from a revolving "permanent, indefinite" appropriation for independent counsels provided by Congress, as well as from non-reimbursed Justice Department agency expenditures and from intelligence agency appropriations.

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"We don't talk about criminal investigations while they're ongoing, so what the American people will see is only if and when a case is charged", he said.

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