Special Counsel's Office Statement of Expenditures: May 17, 2017 - September 30, 2017

Mueller probe's expenses totaled $3M in early months

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"Although neither legally required nor reported in prior Special Counsels' Statements of Expenditures, DOJ components that support the SCO were asked to track expenditures attributable to the investigations", the special counsel's office said in a report.

Beyond the $3.2 million being spent directly by Mueller's team, an additional $3.5 million was spent by other entities in the DOJ that are involved in investigations supporting Mueller's probe.

The price tag is likely to rile Republicans who have been critical of Mueller's team and wary of a lengthy and costly investigation, though independent counsels have in the past spent tens of millions of dollars on lengthy probes.

The office also spent almost $734,000 on equipment and about $363,000 on rent, communications and utilities. The majority of the travel costs stemmed from the relocation of Justice Department employees temporarily assigned to the expanding investigation.

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As Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election interference gets closer to the president's inner circle with Michael Flynn's expected testimony, conservatives aiming to drum up anti-Mueller sentiment are amplifying the cost of the investigation. This statement has also been provided to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on the Judiciary. Another report will be filed in six months. Manafort and Gates have entered not guilty pleas in defense of a number of business related charges.

The money was spent between mid-May, when the investigation began, and September 30 of this year. 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.

Though Flynn already admitted that other top transition officials - including Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, and K.T. McFarland, who is now nominated to be the US ambassador to Singapore - were aware of his Russia-related dealings, Mueller is likely to want to talk to him about a wider range of topics, including whether Trump obstructed justice and tried to short circuit the probe.

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

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