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

In May, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller to serve as special counsel for the Justice Department, and to oversee the investigation into "any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".

For example, Patrick Fitzgerald was a special counsel who investigated a far narrower subject: a leak that exposed the identity of covert Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame.

The special counsel's office has charged four Trump associates with criminal wrongdoing since Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May.

The spending, compiled by Mueller's office, was released by the Justice Department on Tuesday and covers the period from May 17 through September 30.

Mueller's probe also caused other Justice Department components to spend about $3.5 million on work attributable to the special counsel probe, according to the report.

The sum includes $3.2 million in direct investigation expenses covering things like pay, supplies and rent; $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.

A campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, has also pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and is cooperating with Mueller's team. Both men admitted to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about their contacts with Russians related to their work for Trump.

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Last week, Flynn pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and agreed to cooperate with Mueller's investigators.

In addition, Manafort and his longtime business associate, Rick Gates, are now facing several felony charges brought by the special counsel's office.

Trump has in the past taken aim at Mueller's hires, highlighting some team members' political contributions to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton.

It's hard to make comparisons to other investigations led by specially designated prosecutors or to draw conclusions about how much Mueller will ultimately spend. Trump wrote on Twitter.

Lawrence Walsh, the prosecutor who investigated Reagan officials in the Iran-contra affair, spent $47.4 million during his eight-year investigation.

The special counsel also spent $223,643 on travel, nearly entirely for staffers who temporary relocated to the investigation's headquarters in Washington.

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