Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has racked up over $17 million in expenditures according to figures released by the Justice Department on Thursday.
ABC News reported that from May 17, 2017, when the special counsel was appointed, to March 31, 2018, the total spent was $16,742,319.
During the six month period from Oct. 31, 2017 to March 31, 2018, Mueller’s team spent $4,506,624 on direct expenditures, and the DOJ reported an additional $5,467,000 in spending in support of the investigation.
President Donald Trump noted the $17 million price tag in a tweet on Thursday, writing the cost is “going up fast.”
He added, “No Collusion, except by the Democrats!”
Trump has been adamant throughout the investigation that his campaign did not collude with Russia during the 2016 presidential race and has characterized Mueller’s efforts as a “witch hunt.”
On multiple occasions, the president has highlighted that many attorneys on the special counsel’s team have contributed to Democrat candidates in the past, and one — prosecutor Andrew Weissmann — attended Clinton’s election night party in November 2016, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump questioned why the Mueller’s “13 Angry and heavily conflicted Democrats” are not investigating Clinton.
Of the four remaining attorneys, the fact checker could not determine their party affiliation.
However, Politifact noted that Mueller himself is a registered Republican, but the only known one on the team.
To date, the special counsel has charged four Trump campaign associated figures with crimes, including former campaign chair Paul Manafort, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Manafort has been charged with money laundering, bank fraud, and acting as an unregistered foreign agent. The charges date back years before he became Trump’s campaign chair.
His business partner Rick Gates pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators concerning past financial dealings he engaged in with Manafort.
Mueller’s team also obtained a guilty plea from Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on one count of lying to federal investigators. Additionally, George Papadopoulos, a campaign adviser, also pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about contacts he had with Russians.
To date, the special counsel has not released any evidence of collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign.
In early May, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III upbraided Mueller’s team during a hearing in Virginia, suggesting the attorneys lied about scope of the investigation, and the true purpose of prosecuting Manafort, which the judge contended is to bring down the president.
Ellis pressed Mueller’s lawyers on how the charges being brought against Manafort stemming from 2005 and 2007 had anything with the mandate to investigate Russia meddling in the 2016 race.
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort,” Ellis said. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”
The judge further said that the 18-count indictment against Manafort seems clearly meant to assert leverage over the 2016 Trump campaign chair.
“The vernacular is to sing,” Ellis said.
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