Trump-Russia probe: Special counsel Durham has spent at least $6.5 million on investigation


John Durham, the special counsel investigating possible misconduct in the Trump-Russia probe, has spent at least $6.5 million on his probe, including $2 million this year, according to financial documents released Friday by the Department of Justice

The $6.5 million cap figure covers Durham’s spending between October 2020 and September 2022. However, Durham began its investigation in early 2019 and the cost of its first has not been disclosed year and a half of work. That’s because he was working as a US attorney at the time and was only appointed as special counsel in October 2020.

More than $1 million of that year’s spending went to employee salaries and benefits. The Durham office also spent more than $220,000 on travel, more than $600,000 on contract services such as IT support and more than $100,000 on rent, the documents show.

Durham’s research for years has fallen short of expectations. While he has detailed some embarrassing mistakes about the origins of the investigation into ties between Russia and former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, the special counsel has not charged any current government officials with wrongdoing.

The investigation has resulted in only one conviction: a low-level FBI lawyer named Kevin Clinesmith, who avoided prison by pleading guilty to tampering with an email in 2017 that the FBI used to justify the surveillance by a former Trump campaign aide. The other two prosecutions that Durham conducted – against Trump-Russia dossier source Igor Danchenko and Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann – ended in acquittals.

CNN has reported that Durham’s investigation is now in its final stages as his team completes its written report, which will be sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland. The attorney general and other senior Justice Department officials will decide what part of the report will be made public. Garland has previously said she wants to release “as much as possible”.

By comparison, special counsel Robert Mueller spent nearly $32 million during the two-year Russia investigation.

This story and headline have been updated.

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