Mueller investigation cost $6.7 million within first five months

Mueller probe's expenses totaled $3.2M in early months

The costs include $1.7 million for salaries and benefits, $223,643 for travel, $362,550 for rent, $111,245 for IT services, and $3,554 in "miscellaneous" costs.

The federal government spent almost $7 million investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election between May and September, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

One of Mueller's lead investigators was reassigned for reportedly sending anti-Trump text messages.

The combined $6.7 million spent by Mueller's office and other offices supporting his investigation only covers the special counsel's investigation, not the various congressional investigations of Russia's meddling in the election.

That figure "approximates expenditures the components would have incurred for the investigations irrespective of the existence of the SCO", the report states.

The special counsel also spent $223,643 on travel, nearly entirely for staffers who temporary relocated to the investigation's headquarters in Washington.

The budget overview notes that its funding comes from a "permanent, indefinite" appropriation for independent counsels to do their work, meaning if can not be touched by Congress. The majority of the travel costs stemmed from the relocation of Justice Department employees temporarily assigned to the expanding investigation.

The special counsel's office operates with a degree of autonomy within the Justice Department, but reports to Rosenstein regarding its budget and "certain other matters", Rosenstein said.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed President Trump's bank. George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, made a similar plea deal with Mueller's prosecutors in October. CNN reported that investigators are scrutinizing Trump and his associates' financial ties to Russian Federation.

So far, the special counsel has charged four people as part of the investigation including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will testify next week before the House Judiciary Committee about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

He said his team is accountable for the work of Mueller and the special counsel team. "With two individuals having entered guilty pleas and two more facing federal charges, it's clear the investigation is moving forward", she said in a statement.

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