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Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Mueller details $6.7 million spent in early months of Russian Federation probe

Mueller details $6.7 million spent in early months of Russian Federation probe

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told an interviewer he is satisfied with the work of special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation is being criticized by President Donald Trump as "the greatest Witch Hunt in US political history".

The combined $6.7 million spent by Mueller's office and other offices supporting his investigation only covers the special counsel's investigation, not the various congressional investigations of Russia's meddling in the election.

The costs include $1.7 million for salaries and benefits, $223,643 for travel, $362,550 for rent, $111,245 for IT services, and $3,554 in "miscellaneous" costs.

In addition, the department said that its various offices have also spent another $3.5 million to help assist the probe, though those expenditures would have occurred "irrespective of the existence of the" special counsel's office. The Justice Department's report covered the period from May 17 to September 30.

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.

Of the overall price tag, only about $3.2 million was spent directly by the special counsel's office.

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

The four-and-a-half year investigations headed by Starr and his successor, Robert Ray, cost more than $52 million in taxpayer funds as they probed Clinton and then-first lady Hillary Clinton.

In its report, Mueller's team notes that it draws its funding from a revolving "permanent, indefinite" appropriation for independent counsels provided by Congress, as well as from non-reimbursed Justice Department agency expenditures and from intelligence agency appropriations. 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.

A campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, has also pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and is cooperating with Mueller's team.

Manafort was charged, along with his longtime business partner Rick Gates, for work on behalf of Ukraine unrelated to the campaign. Mueller also disclosed that he secured a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, who was a junior foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign, for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about contacts with Russian operatives.

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