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Robert Mueller's Russia probe cost nearly $17M in first year

By
Daniel Uria
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election has cost nearly $17 million since he was appointed last May, according to a Justice Department report Thursday. File Photo by Alex Wong/UPI
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election has cost nearly $17 million since he was appointed last May, according to a Justice Department report Thursday. File Photo by Alex Wong/UPI | License Photo

May 31 (UPI) -- Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has cost nearly $17 million in its first year.

The Department of Justice released a report Thursday stating Mueller's office spent $10 million from Oct. 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018. The department had previously revealed the office spent $6.7 million from the time Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to the end of September.

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Mueller's office was responsible for $4.5 million of the $10 million total, while the Department of Justice spent $5.5 million in support of the special counsel's office.

The special counsel's office spent $874,069 on salaries and benefits for its own employees and $1.9 million for Justice Department employees that were loaned out to the team.

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A total of $532,340 was spent on travel, including $14,220 for direct travel by Mueller's office and $518,120 for temporary relocation of Justice Department employees.

An additional $264,114 was spent on IT, financial and other services.

President Donald Trump has criticized Mueller's spending and dismissed the investigation as a "Witch Hunt" on various occasions.

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"At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP! They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction," Trump wrote on Twitter May 20.

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Since the investigation began it has yielded five guilty pleas, including former Trump aides Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos, former Trump senior adviser Rick Gates and Richard Pinedo, who pleaded guilty in February 2018 to identity fraud for providing online services to circumvent the security features of online payment processors.

The first sentence related to Mueller's probe came April 3, 2018, for Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, for lying to the FBI.

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