A new report is revealing just how expensive Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference really is. In total, the U.S. Department of Justice spent $6.7 million in the months after the President appointed Mueller, $3.2 million of which the special counsel leader spent on salaries, travel, rent and equipment in just four months. Both President Trump and several Republican leaders have been heavily critical of the special counsel and its budget, suggesting that spending is out of control and completely unmonitored. Florida GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis and Steve Bannon have both urged Trump to halt spending on the project or at least limit by the time the investigation hits the sixth-month mark.
- Over half ($1.7 million) of the amount Mueller spent on the investigation went to salaries, including nearly $1.2 million for Department of Justice salaries. $500,696 of that amount was directly funded to new hires, while $733,969 was allocated to new federal government equipment.
- Miscellaneous expenditures included $223,643 for travel, $157,339 for contracted services, $111,245 for information, $24,456 for transcription work on documents, and $17,217 for infrastructure development.
- Supporters of the investigation, including Senate Judiciary Committee member, Dianne Feinstein, believe the $3.2 million price tag is justified. Feinstein believes the price tag is directly correlated with how quickly Mueller gained results.
- Feinstein also believes Mueller should be granted additional cash, if such funding is required to push the investigation forward. “I continue to strongly support Bob Mueller’s investigation and believe he should receive all the resources he needs to follow the facts and the law where they lead.”
- Numbers for the Mueller probe are significantly more conservative than spending generated by past special counsels, including investigations during the Carter, Reagan, and Clinton administrations. Finance experts estimate the value of these and 19 other special counsel investigations over the last 50 years to be at or around $339 million.
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