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Mueller Probe Cost $25 Million So Far, Report Says. It’s Pulled in $48 Million From Tax Cheats

Emily Gillespie

Robert Mueller’s investigation has cost just over $25 million in the first 16 months of its investigation, according to CNBC.

The Special Counsel’s Office released new an expenditure report Friday which revealed that the six months between the beginning of April through September cost about $4.5 million. More than half of the total cost is attributed to personnel compensation and benefits.

Since beginning the probe in May 2017, investigating whether Russia was linked to the Trump presidential campaign, Mueller has filed more than 100 criminal charges.

Though the investigation comes with a hefty price tag, it may have actually paid for its own investigation, with its probe leading to monetary estimated gains of up to $48 million for the government through the tax evasion the investigation has revealed.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was sentenced for conspiracy and obstruction of justice in September. As part of his plea deal, Manafort agreed to forfeit assets that amount to between $42 million and $46 million, including about $22 million in property, CNBC reports. The case revealed how Manafort avoided paying more than $15 million in taxes by laundering $60 million from pro-Russian Ukrainians, CNN reports.

Manafort reportedly violated the conditions of his plea deal, and last month prosecutors said that he could face more charges.

Earlier this week, Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to financial crimes including paying hush money to a porn star and Playboy model. As part of his deal, Cohen agreed to pay $1.4 million in unpaid taxes and hand over $500,000 in assets as well as pay $100,000 in fines.

Throughout the investigation, Trump has called efforts by Mueller’s team a “witch hunt” and has blasted the special counsel for its growing cost.

With Mueller’s investigation not yet completed, it’s difficult to say how much it will ultimately cost American taxpayers. An investigation into President Bill Clinton, which took place between 1994 and 1998, reportedly cost about $40 million.