WASHINGTON – The Russia investigation has cost more than $25 million since special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment, according to a new Justice Department report released Friday.
The report is the third compiled by the Justice Department to detail Mueller’s expenditures as he investigates Russian election interference and any coordination with associates of President Donald Trump. Combined with two previous reports, the latest expenditure provides insight into Mueller’s expenses from May 2017 through the end of September.
The total figure is lower than amounts Trump has cited in recent tweets. In November, the president claimed the investigation had cost $40 million. A few days later, he put the total at $30 million. In both tweets, he cited the cost as a waste, among other attacks on the investigation.
In the new report covering April through September, the Justice Department says the Russia investigation cost a total of $8.5 million, down from the $10 million spent in the previous six-month period.
Mueller’s office directly accounted for $4.6 million in expenses, including $2.9 million for salaries and benefits and another $580,000 for travel. Another $3.9 million was spent by other government offices supporting the investigation.
So far, Mueller has charged 33 people and three companies and obtained six guilty pleas and a trial conviction.
Of the $25.2 million total, the Justice Department says about $13 million would have been spent on the Russia probe regardless of Mueller’s appointment.
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