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Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation costs near $17 million, Justice says

Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation costs near $17 million, Justice says

Russia: The cost of the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election is now near $17 million, according to a new accounting filed Thursday by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.

In the second financial report since his appointment just more than a year ago, Mueller listed direct expenditures of more than $4.5 million, including $2.7 million in salaries and benefits for his staff of prosecutors.

Another $5.4 million was reported as indirect costs for the work of Justice officials who have assisted the investigation but are not under Mueller’s direct control.

The new accounting covered a period from Oct. 1, 2017, through March 31. A previous report from May through September 2017 listed direct and indirect costs of $6.7 million, bringing the total from the two reports to $16.6 million.

Mueller was appointed to lead the inquiry last May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the matter and then- FBI Director James Comey was dismissed by President Trump.

Since taking control, Mueller’s inquiry has advanced on multiple fronts to include whether Trump sought to obstruct the investigation by firing Comey.

Nineteen people are known to be charged so far. They include 13 Russians, associated with three businesses including an Internet company tied to the Kremlin.

The case involving the Russian Internet company represents the most detailed account so far of the effort to undermine the 2016 presidential election and the actions aimed at boosting the candidacy of then-candidate Trump.

At the same time, Mueller has managed to pierce Trump’s inner circle. Of the 19 charged, four are former administration or former Trump campaign advisers.