Analysis: How Mueller spent nearly $7 million in four months on Trump-Russia probe

Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation spent nearly $7 million during the first four months of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including $1.7 million on salaries and benefits for employees, according to the first report issued on the costs. A Justice Department report issued Tuesday on expenses associated with the special counsel’s probe includes a breakdown of direct and reimbursed expenses, such as salaries to detailed DOJ employees who would have been paid regardless of being detailed to Mr. Mueller’s team. While the expenses associated with the special counsel’s personal team total $3.2 million, the report notes that an additional $3.5 million was spent during the course of the investigation on DOJ components that support the investigation. That figure “approximates expenditures the components would have incurred for the investigations irrespective of the existence of the SCO,” the report states. The expenses detailed in the first report include a breakdown of costs between May 17 and Sept. 30. According to the DOJ report, more than $362,000 was spent during that period on rent, communications and utilities. Another $223,000 was spent on travel expenses, though much of that amount — approximately $220,000 — was spent on the cost of temporary relocation of DOJ employees who were detailed to the special counsel’s office. Only around $3,000 was spent on direct travel expenses. Another $734,000 was spent on the acquisition of equipment that will remain the property of the federal government at the close of the Mueller investigation. In addition to Mr. Mueller, the special counsel team includes 17 attorneys — five of whom were hired from outside the government. The special counsel’s office has declined to provide details on how many other people have been detailed from various agencies or divisions of the Justice Department to work on the team. Tuesday’s disclosures provide the first opportunity to measure the cost-effectiveness of Mr. Mueller’s investigation, which has netted two guilty pleas and two indictments thus far.

Was that worth the $7 MILLION dollars already spent of our hard-earned tax dollars (and its FAR from over)?  You be the judge…

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