Russian Federation probe cost $7 million over 5 months, DOJ says

Russia probe cost $7 million over 5 months, DOJ says

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has spent more than $3.2 million in the opening months of his federal criminal investigation into Russian interference in last year's USA election and whether President Donald Trump or anyone close to him colluded in it.

Mueller's office says in the report that about $1.7 million was for salary and benefits. The report said that past special counsels did not report such expenditures, and the expenses would have been incurred "irrespective of the existence" of the special counsel's office.

When the News4 I-Team asked Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if he was satisfied with the work thus far of the U.S. Office of the Special Counsel, Rosenstein said yes. 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. Mueller also reports in addition to his office, the Justice Department has spent $3.5 million to support the investigation.

Mueller's investigation appears to have begun to enter a new lead, following previous adviser of national security, Michael Flynn, pleading guilty to knowingly lying to the FBI under questioning.

3 dead, 15 hurt in New Mexico high school shooting
The school of about 900 students was cordoned off as authorities cleared the campus and teens were taken to another location. Thursday's shooting appears to be the most serious in a New Mexico school in years.

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

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. George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, made a similar plea deal with Mueller's prosecutors in October.

Manafort was charged, along with his longtime business partner Rick Gates, for work on behalf of Ukraine unrelated to the campaign. 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. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russia's ambassador during the transition period, and, in a potentially ominous sign for the White House, agreed to cooperate with Mueller. Those charges involve allegations of money laundering and other financial crimes related to their political consulting work in Ukraine.

The budget overview notes that its funding comes from a "permanent, indefinite" appropriation for independent counsels to do their work, meaning if can not be touched by Congress.

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