Mueller details $6.7 million spent in early months of Russian Federation probe

President Donald Trump smiles as he speaks before hosting a lunch with Senate Republicans in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Tuesday Dec. 5 2017 in Washington

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has spent more than $3.2 million in the opening months of his federal criminal investigation into Russian interference in last year's US election and whether President Donald Trump or anyone close to him colluded in it.

Rosenstein's hearing comes as Republicans express concerns over possible bias in Mueller's investigation.

Mueller's probe also caused other Justice Department components to spend about $3.5 million on work attributable to the special counsel probe, according to the report.

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

Of the overall price tag, only about $3.2 million was spent directly by the special counsel's office. In the report released Tuesday, Mueller's office noted that previous special counsels only reported direct costs and not those incurred separately by the Justice Department on their own expenditure reports.

The special counsel investigation run by Robert Mueller has cost taxpayers more in four months than what the investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attack cost in over two years. Starr's predecessor, Robert Fiske, spent an additional $6 million investigating the Clintons' involvement in the Whitewater real estate deal, according to a May 1999 GAO report. A Senate vote in February 1999 failed to convict Clinton on those charges.

Last week, former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

A campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, has also pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and is cooperating with Mueller's team. Those people include Mueller himself, Jeannie Rhee, James Quarles and Aaron Zebley, who left the law firm Wilmer Hale with Mueller in May, and Greg Andres, the prosecutor who left the law firm Davis Polk in August and is co-leading the case against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates.

In addition, Manafort and his longtime business associate, Rick Gates, are now facing several felony charges brought by the special counsel's office. Rosenstein, who wrote the memo that was the basis for Trump's firing of James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, is overseeing Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. That represents new money coming from an indefinite appropriation for independent counsels, which the Justice Department determined could be used to fund Mueller's work.

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