Justice Department documents released Thursday show the investigation has cost $16.7 million through the first 10½ months of the investigation, considerably less than the $47.4 million spent investigating the Iran-contra affair or the $69 million spent on the independent counsel investigation of President Bill Clinton from 1994 to 2002. (Those totals are not adjusted for inflation.)
Over the past six months, Trump’s allies have harped on what the president last month called a “$20,000,000 Witch Hunt.”
“This investigation from the Mueller team has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to already demonstrate what the president and I have said from the very beginning: There is no collusion,” former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said last week on Fox News.
“If you want to talk about wasting tax money … talk about the entire investigation as a whole with this president and collusion,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN in January. “That is a waste of taxpayer money.”
The investigation is also progressing much more quickly than previous special counsel investigations, despite calls to wrap up the probe.
Before firing FBI Director James B. Comey, Trump tweeted: “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”
Still, one year later the “taxpayer funded charade” continues, and it will perhaps until September 2019.
President Trump’s newest attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, has told reporters the Russia investigation could be completed by Sept. 1. If that does not happen, the investigation will still be funded for another year, thanks to the $10 million the White House allocated for it, set to run from October 2018 through September next year.