Members of the House of Representatives voted Friday to audit the financial records of special counsel Robert Mueller’s year-long probe into Russian collusion; a major step in determining where and how the $17 million investigation is spending its money.
Legislators passed the law by a razor-thin margin of 207-201 this week; adding the audit to another piece of legislation aimed at Veterans Affairs and infrastructure.
The bill was pushed by Republican Rep. Mark Meadows who sought to “reestablish a semiannual Government Accountability Office financial review” of the special counsel’s investigation.
“It’s time for Congress to act to restore this key oversight provision,” he added.
The Department of Justice published its financial report just days ago, revealing that Robert Mueller’s months-long investigation has already cost the American taxpayer over $17 million and is expected to continue through the summer.
MUELLER'S MILLIONS: DOJ Burns BIG BUCKS on Trump Witch-Hunt
The Department of Justice released its official cost estimate regarding special counsel Robert Mueller’s months-long investigation of Russian-Trump collusion, revealing the agency has burned through nearly $7 million in tax payer money as it seeks to “get to the bottom” of Russia’s election interference.
The cost estimates cover a roughly five-month period, between the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel on May 17th until Sept. 30th; meaning the figures will likely rise substantially as the investigation unfolds.
According to the Department of Justice, the costs are broken down into two distinct categories: Roughly $3.2 million spent directly by the special counsel’s office, and an addition $3.5 million spent on outside support of the investigation –such as overtime and additional FBI agents.
Mueller’s investigation is just one of three investigations into allegations the Trump administration “colluded” with Russian officials to sway the 2016 election away from Hillary Clinton; meaning the actual cost of the probes will likely reach tens of millions of tax payer dollars.
The release of Mueller’s budget comes just days after President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to “intentionally” making false statements to the FBI regarding his relationship with the Russian ambassador.
Trump commented on Flynn’s admission earlier this week, blasting the FBI’s double standard; saying he “felt very badly” that the FBI had “ruined” Flynn’s life but had allowed Hillary Clinton to walk-away unscathed after repeatedly lying to the agency.
MUELLER MAYHEM: Federal Judge REJECTS Special Counsel’s Request for Delay
A second federal judge flat-out rebuked special counsel Robert Mueller over the weekend; rejecting his request to delay a court hearing in a criminal case surrounding Russian election meddling using social media.
According to Politico, Judge Dabney Friedrich issued a “brief order” Saturday that denied Mueller’s request to delay the scheduled hearing Friday evening; offering no explanation and setting the stage for a high-stake showdown between the special counsel’s office and 13 Russian nations indicted for interfering in the 2016 election.
The judge’s decision comes just hours after another federal judge rebuked Mueller’s team during hearings in the case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; accusing the special counsel’s office of using Manafort to launch “impeachment” procedures against the President.
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort,” said the judge. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”