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Note: This write-up has to be updated with freshly released data. Check out it here.

In among his plenty of tweets crucial of Robert Mueller’s distinct counsel investigation, president Donald Trump took aim — again — at the probe’s purported expense to the taxpayers.

"When will certainly this illegal Joseph McCarthy format Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so many innocent lives, ever end-or will it simply go ~ above forever? after wasting more than $40,000,000 (is that possible?), it has actually proven just one thing-there was NO Collusion through Russia. Therefore Ridiculous!" the tweeted Nov. 29.

When will this illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so countless innocent lives, ever end-or will it just go ~ above forever? ~ wasting more than $40,000,000 (is that possible?), it has proven only one thing-there was NO Collusion through Russia. Therefore Ridiculous!

— Donald J. Trump (
realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2018

Trump’s assertion to be a $10 million run from a similar tweet simply two days before — and also twice as much as the $20 million complete he highlighted in May. For this reason we wanted to take it a brand-new look.

We aren’t placing this to the Truth-O-Meter because the information released by the unique counsel’s office is supposed to it is in updated soon, an altering the totals. However, Trump’s assertion that the investigation has already cost $40 million seems questionable.

Looking at direct expenses only

The Mueller investigation is gift funded v mandatory spending, i m sorry essentially method it is collection up come be cost-free of executive branch influence. However, Justice room officials do have actually a degree of monitor to make certain that money isn’t wasted, together with any kind of other department office. The budgeted amount is determined by the acting attorney general and has not been expose publicly, the office said.

Mueller’s office has released 2 accountings that its expenses so far.

The first report to be released in December 2017, and also it covered the very first four and a fifty percent months that the probe, from may 17 to Sept. 30, 2017.

According come this first report, the Mueller investigation spent $3.2 million directly during the period. The biggest classification was $1.7 million for employee salaries and also benefits, if the second-largest to be for equipment. Smaller sized categories included travel, rent, utilities and supplies.

The second (and most recent) report was released in may 2018, spanning the next six month of the probe, from Oct. 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.

This report showed that the investigation spent $4.5 million straight in this 2nd period, making the full in direct prices so far $7.7 million.

Adding indirect costs

The one-of-a-kind counsel’s office claims the examination has likewise incurred "indirect" costs, a category it states is "neither legit required" for disclosure nor reported in filings by previous distinct counsels.

Mueller’s office argues that this indirect costs don’t quantity to additional taxpayer expenditures, due to the fact that these resources — particularly personnel, such as employees of the FBI or other agencies — would have been committed to other cases if there had been no distinct counsel investigation.

For the first period, there to be $3.5 million in indirect costs, and also for the second period there to be $5.5 million in indirect costs. That’s $9 million in all.

So, if you add up the direct and indirect prices through march 30, 2018, it works out to $16.7 million.

Fiscal year

Start date

End date

Direct spending

Indirect spending

Total spent


May 17, 2017

Sept. 30, 2017

$3.2 million

$3.5 million

$6.7 million

2018 (1st half)

Oct. 1, 2017

March 30, 2018

$4.5 million

$5.5 million

$10 million

2018 (2nd half)

April 1, 2018

Sept. 30, 2018

Not however reported

Not however reported

Not yet reported


Oct 1, 2018

Sept. 30, 2018

Not however reported

Not yet reported

Not however reported


$7.7 million

$9 million

$16.7 million

Prorating this amount

The one-of-a-kind counsel’s office says a report covering April 1, 2018, come Sept. 1, 2018, is supposed to be exit in early on December, based upon the schedule of past releases. As soon as that’s public, we’ll have actually a solid number through Sept. 1.

For now, we have the right to prorate the next six month after the critical report to obtain an estimate. At its previous rate of spending, the examination would have spent second $4.5 million in direct costs and $5.5 million in indirect costs, because that a total addition of $9 million.

If you add this to the ahead total, it reaches $25.7 million. Factoring in the two extr months that have passed —-- October and November 2018 —-- might plausibly obtain the costs up come $27 million or so.

So Trump’s $40 million figure is around 50 percent greater than the best estimate we have the right to make in ~ this point.

Trump could be appropriate if spending increased dramatically in the past eight months. If that’s the case, it hasn’t to be made public.

How does the Mueller investigation compare historically?

As we’ve reported, the investigation of President bill Clinton over Whitewater and also Monica Lewinsky — top by Kenneth Starr and then by his successor, Robert ray — cost upward the $52 million over half a decade. Another $40 million-plus went toward a grasp of other Clinton-era live independence counsel investigations.

Meanwhile, the investigation of Reagan administration officials over the Iran-Contra Affair, top by Lawrence Walsh, topped out at more than $47 million over a roughly similar period.

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Those numbers are direct costs only, and are not adjusted for inflation. Their price tags would be far greater if convert to 2018 dollars.