Dec 14, 2018, 4:20 PM ET

Mueller investigation cost tops $25 million: DOJ report


Special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election reported spending more than $25 million through Sep. 30, according to the latest Justice Department filing, including $8.5 million over the last six-month reporting period.

Last month, President Donald Trump, without citing any documentation, accused Mueller of "wasting more than $40,000,000" on an "illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt" that has "shattered so many innocent lives."

On Sunday, the president again complained about the cost of the Mueller probe, and also without documentation, claimed the investigation has cost more than $30 million, instead of $40 million.

The new numbers reported by the Department of Justice on Friday cover expenditures from April 2018 through September 2018, including compensation for prosecutors, rent, travel and transportation.

PHOTO: FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at the Capitol, June 19, 2013.CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images, FILE
FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at the Capitol, June 19, 2013.

Mueller's team spent $4.6 million from the special counsel's budget, and the Justice Department chipped in an additional $3.9 million for the investigation during the last six month period, bringing the total to $25 million. This is a 15 percent decrease from the previous six-month reporting period between October 2017 and March 2018, when the special counsel and the Justice Department reported spending $10 million in support of the investigation.

The biggest portion of the expenditures went to personnel compensation, $2.9 million, while Mueller's team spent nearly $1 million on rent, communications and utilities and more than $580,000 on travel and transportation.

As ABC News has previously reported, investigations of this nature can take years to resolve and can run into the tens of millions of dollars. And as a part of the investigation, Mueller team is expected to bring in money for the U.S. government through fines and sales of forfeited properties from individuals who have pleaded guilty to the special counsel.

PHOTO: Paul Manafort, President Donald Trumps former campaign chairman, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington D.C., Feb. 14, 2018.Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP, FILE
Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington D.C., Feb. 14, 2018.

This includes $22.3 million in forfeited real estate properties from Paul Manafort's plea deal with the government. The one-time Trump campaign chairman, who in August pleaded guilty to evading taxes on more than $60 million of income earned working for Ukrainian politicians, also faces up to $500,000 in fines.

Others who have pleaded guilty to the Mueller investigation, including Michael Cohen and George Papadopoulos, have been sentenced to a total of $79,500 in fines to the special counsel's office.

Since his appointment as special counsel in May 2017, Mueller has indicted 33 individuals and three Russian businesses on charges ranging from computer hacking to conspiracy and financial crimes. Those indictments have led to seven guilty pleas and four people sentenced to prison.

News - Mueller investigation cost tops $25 million: DOJ report

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  • sditalian503

    Manafort, Cohen, Papadopoulos... President Trump brought these slime ball crooks to Washing with him, after pledging to "drain the swamp" and boasting that he only hires the best people. Maybe Trump should reimburse American taxpayers -- who actually understand what it's like to put in an honest day's work -- for the expense of exposing these people as the crooks that they are.

  • Mikhail

    Can Mueller so this thing permanently? He's doing a fabulous job!

  • Stephen McCandless

    $25 million vs annual debt of $ 1 Trillion per year--- or $1 trillion tax break to the top 2% of earners -- or to steal an election decided by a foreign government for $25 MM is as the Donald would say "Chump Change" or should that read 'Trump Change'...

  • JustaGuy_JustaThought

    I'm just here to laugh at all the people who moaned and groaned about investigations into the benghazi tragedy costing too much money that are now cheering on the endless spending by the special counsel.

    It's people like you that helped elect Trump and the best part is that you will keep on keeping on.

  • briteleaf

    The total cost of the border mission will be an estimated $210 million under current plans, according to the Associated Press. 5,900 troops sit in tents in the desert DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING at taxpayer expense. I'd say the 25 million spent on the Special Investigation has been well-spent.

  • Bear

    Hey, ABC, what is wrong with saying Donnie can't count? I've seen worse stuff on the current thread.

  • Bear

    So, now Donnie can't count. Does he have any skills?

  • Chuck

    Trump worship rallies to date have cost taxpayers almost 20 million dollars. This for absolutely nothing but to boost the ego of the Orange Clown. 25 million for the Mueller investigation is a bargain as there are actually dedicated people working every day.

  • Independent

    From the numbers I have seen, it looks like Mueller is bringing in more money than he is spending on outside investigators.

    No matter - whatever the cost is its worth it

  • Pologize3

    Still cheaper than Donald's golf trips.

  • Holmes

    I want a Job where I can get a blank check!

  • arlecchino

    Mueller also recovered $48 millions in tax evasion from these crooks, almost double what he spent.

  • ShirleyEugest

    Ken Starr's witch hunt cost $44 million (way more in today's dollars) and produced nothing against the Clintons. So, with a handful of high level Trump associates already prison bound and a shot at showing the world that our current president is either a complete traitor, a woefully ignorant candidate or just an arrogant freak who thinks he can do anything he wants, including getting into bed with our enemies to make a buck, $25 Million is a bargain. Great job, Mr. Mueller. Now, get person 1 and you're my all time hero.

  • james

    I wonder how much has been spent on investigation Hilary Clinton and not one indictment.

  • SBTruth

    Let us know when it's over. We are tired of the endless details. Drip, drip, drip.......

  • jas00

    When all is said & done, I suspect Trump will realize that becoming president is the worst thing to ever happen to him.

  • Keshava Aumritum

    worth every penny. Americans need to know if a jerk and criminal is running the country.

  • pete39

    You break it down like the money comes from different sources.
    While it may come from different budgets, it all comes from only one source - the American taxpayer!
    $2 or $200 million, it could all be better spent.

  • easternshore

    The investigation is well on its way to making a big profit from the Manafort forfeitures and others to come.

  • badhairpiece

    25 mill is a pittance compared to what we are paying for Trump's weekly visits to his resort properties.

  • Justbkind16

    Manafort's forfeiture of real estate and cash is estimated to be worth between 42 and 46 million. So, in essence, this investigation will probably turn a profit. But don't take my word for it, it's just verifiable fact.

  • AlexaGuyer

    BREAKING NEWS: Melania Trump has just purchased a gold leash and muzzle for Chubby's Christmas present. The First Escort has also asked the Obama's if she can spend the holidays with a REAL president. The Obama's graciously declined, stating that they did not want to expose their daughters to this kind of element.

  • Jiba

    worth it removing venom from our system

  • I Think

    On the other hand, trump's golf has cost us all $85 million.

  • Gravis

    I'm happy to donate some more if it will help

  • DWitney

    STFW, GOP wasted 75 million on votes they knew would fail just for grandstanding - GOP is the party of waste.

  • Rusty Writer

    Headline should read "Mueller investigation on track to pay for itself and puts tens of millions into government coffers" (from fines and forfeited property by Trump's crooked cronies)

  • Arryandan

    Pretty CHEAP! Watergate was $166,000,000. And produced only two infractions. This one is draining the swamp, like Trump promised. I don't think Trump considered himself part of the swamp, but, there it is.

  • Jim J.

    The Clinton White Water investigation lasted 6 years and cost taxpayers more than $70 million. I am thinking this one ought to top that easily. That's what happens when you have no time limit, an unlimited budget and a license to fish for anything you want to.

  • TaDa!

    Good bang for the buck... Considering that it is about the same amount spent for Eight(8) of Trump's golf trips!

  • Cammosutra

    Money well spent if you ask me. As opposed to President Turnip's wall. And House Speaker Ryan collected over $500,000 on the tax reform bill! I wonder how much the Koch brothers made on that?