Trump Budget Includes Funding for Mueller If Probe Remains Open

(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration has set aside $10 million for Special Counsel Robert Mueller during the next fiscal year, although the funding won’t be necessary if the Russia investigation ends before then.

The funding is essentially a placeholder in the Justice Department’s budget request for fiscal 2020, a Justice Department official said. Mueller is believed to be wrapping up his investigation. In the unlikely event he needs money in the next fiscal year, however, he’ll have to put forward his own budget request this summer.

The placeholder funding isn’t intended to represent how much money Mueller will actually spend, the official added, but it nevertheless appears to be a close estimate of how much the investigation costs.

For example, Mueller spent $9.1 million during fiscal 2018, according to expenditure statements released by the Justice Department.

Money that Mueller has spent so far during the current fiscal year 2019, which ends Sept. 30, isn’t yet available.

The Russia investigation has cost about $25 million in total from the time Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to the end of September 2018, according to the most recently available spending figures. That includes money spent by other department components in support of the investigation.

The investigation may ultimately bring more money into the government’s coffers than Mueller spends, when the value of forfeited assets from those he’s charged is taken into account.

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