Mueller's Russia probe has cost more than $25 million

By Kathryn Watson

/ CBS News

Monday political news recap

Washington — The Justice Department's investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to the Trump campaign has cost more than $25 million since it started in the spring of 2017, according to Justice Department documents released Friday.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's office spent nearly $4.6 million to operate from April through the end of September, on top of $3.9 million in costs incurred by the DOJ and FBI connected to Mueller's investigation. Previous documents the Justice Department released revealed costs of nearly $17 million related to the probe from May 2017 through March 2018.

That $4.6 million figure includes roughly $2.9 million spent on compensation and benefits, $580,000 on travel and transportation, and $943,000 spent on rent, communications and utilities.

Mueller's investigation has resulted in a slew of indictments and convictions. Among those convicted is former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen has also pleaded guilty to charges including lying to Congress and campaign finance violations. On Wednesday, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

President Trump has declared Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt" and a "taxpayer-funded charade." He claimed without providing evidence last month that the investigation has cost more than $40 million.

"When will this illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so many innocent lives, ever end-or will it just go on forever? After wasting more than $40,000,000 (is that possible?), it has proven only one thing-there was NO Collusion with Russia. So Ridiculous!" the president tweeted in November.

Mr. Trump has said he has no plans to fire Mueller, despite his repeated attacks on the investigation. Trump allies, including Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and some Republicans in Congress, have called for Mueller to end his investigation.

First published on December 15, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

 Original Article