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DoJ: Mueller's Russia probe has cost more than $25M

By Sommer Brokaw
DoJ: Mueller's Russia probe has cost more than $25M
Special counsel Robert Mueller has cost more than $25 million, the latest Justice Department report on investigation expenditures released Friday reveals. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia election meddling probe has cost more than $25 million since it began in the spring of 2017, a new government report shows.

The Department of Justice report released Friday shows that Mueller's office spent about $4.6 million from April through September, a period that included former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's August conviction on eight of 18 counts of bank fraud in Virginia. Then, in September, Manafort pleaded guilty to money laundering and unregistered foreign lobbying in a District of Columbia case. His sentencing for the two felonies is tentatively scheduled for March 5.

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Itemized costs for the latest period of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election included nearly $2.9 million in personnel compensation and benefits, around $580,000 on travel costs, nearly $943,000 on rent, communications and utilities, and $311,000 for contractual services.

The Justice Department also reported an additional $3.9 million of spending over the same six-month period on items that "would have incurred for the investigations irrespective of the existence of the [special counsel's office]."

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President Donald Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt" on Twitter, and said last month that Mueller's team had spent more than $40 million, though data released by the Justice Department at the time for spending from May 2017 through March 2018 reflected nearly $17 million.

Mueller's investigation has led to other indictments and convictions besides those against Manafort. Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying the the FBI and Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and campaign finance violations.

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