A demonstrator holds a sign featuring U.S. President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, during “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go” rally in the Times Square area of New York, U.S. (Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg)

Mueller Runs Up $16 Million Tab in Trump-Russia Investigation

(Bloomberg) -- Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election has cost more than $16 million during its first year, according to the Justice Department.

The department on Thursday released the latest spending tally, compiled by Mueller’s office, showing that $10 million was spent from Oct. 1 to March 31. Mueller’s direct spending during the time period was about $4.5 million.

The rest reflects spending by Justice Department components in support of his investigation, which includes whether President Donald Trump or anyone close to him colluded with Russians. The department said the components would have incurred those expenses even if the special counsel didn’t exist -- an indication of how embedded investigative activities are within the department.

The Justice Department previously reported that about $6.7 million was spent from the time Mueller was appointed special counsel in May 2017 to the end of September.

Personnel and Travel

The majority of funds spent by Mueller in the latest period -- about $2.7 million -- went for personnel, with the rest going to travel, office space and contracting services, the Justice Department said.

The Justice Department has budgeted $10 million for Mueller to spend in fiscal 2019, which begins on Oct. 1. Trump has seized on that figure in tweets attacking the investigation.

"Can you believe that with all of the made up, unsourced stories I get from the Fake News Media, together with the $10,000,000 Russian Witch Hunt (there is no Collusion), I now have my best Poll Numbers in a year. Much of the Media may be corrupt, but the People truly get it!" Trump said in a May 15 tweet.

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