$6.7M spent in early months of Russian Federation probe


Robert Mueller III, the special counsel leading the Russian Federation investigation, on Tuesday publicly filed his team's first expenditure report. The Department of Justice spent another $3.5 million to support the investigation. "The expenditures for this period totaled $3,546,000, which approximates expenditures the components would have incurred for the investigations irrespective of the existence of the SCO".

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 expenditure report covers May 17, 2017 through September 30, 2017. The majority of the travel costs stemmed from the relocation of Justice Department employees temporarily assigned to the expanding investigation.

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

The spending was summarized in a report released Tuesday, the first of what Mueller's office said will be twice-a-year updates.

Another $733,969 was spent on equipment, but the report does not provide details. Starr's sprawling investigation, which led the House to impeach Clinton for perjury, contributed to Congress letting a law that gave special investigators wide independence expire in 1999. A Senate vote in February 1999 failed to convict Clinton on those charges.

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Mueller's investigation has already charged four individuals with criminal wrongdoing.

On Friday, Mueller revealed a guilty plea by Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, who admitted lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. 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.

So far, the probe has resulted in two indictments and two guilty pleas, none of which are in any way related to charges of "links and/or coordination" with Russian Federation. Those charges involve allegations of money laundering and other financial crimes related to their political consulting work in Ukraine.

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Mueller's next expense report is due at the end of March.