More than $25 million have been spent by special counsel Robert Mueller since he began his investigation. The exact dollar amount was disclosed late last week, and, according to a report from CNBC, about four and a half million was spent in the first few months on “compensation and benefits.” President Trump has been critical of the investigation and has used its growing price tag as a talking point in the past.
However, while the cost is staggering, CNBC reports that the inquiry has cost less than other similar investigations in the past, including the probe into Bill Clinton. As a result of the examination, the US has seized several million dollars and charged 33 people and three companies with at least 100 criminal charges. Most recently, President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen received a three-year prison sentence after being found guilty of “tax fraud and lying,” according to a report from Politico.
“Today is the day that I am getting my freedom back,” said Cohen while speaking in court after the verdict was read, according to Politico. “I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired.”
Throughout the investigation, the country has remained divided over the validity of the probe and whether or not Mueller will attempt to indict the president. One poll showed that Americans were split down party lines over the issue. The same survey from CNN also revealed that the public’s opinion of the Mueller investigation is souring, particularly with voters who identify as Independents.
Despite the coverage surrounding Mueller, which includes coming in 3rd for Time’s Person of the Year, the man has made very few public statements and has kept his personal life out of the spotlight. This behavior is in sharp contrast to Ken Starr, who was the special counsel in charge of the Bill Clinton investigation, according to a report from the Washington Post. Starr’s investigation lasted about five years, and during that time he granted several interviews.
“Like all the FBI directors I have known, including myself, Bob is not about to try his case or run his evidence by the court of public opinion,” said William Webster, while speaking to the Washington Post. “That’s not how our FBI works. It’s not how Bob Mueller works. It might make for good TV ratings, but it leaves too much open for misunderstanding and, in my opinion, creates a circus atmosphere around critically important cases.”