$9 Million Spent on Special Prosecutor’s Investigation into Trump, Millions More to Be Billed
A newly released report has unveiled that the special prosecutor leading a criminal case against former President Donald Trump over
A newly released report has unveiled that the special prosecutor leading a criminal case against former President Donald Trump over sensitive national security documents kept at his Florida home has incurred more than $9 million in costs since being assigned the task late last year.
Special counsel Jack Smith, appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November, has accumulated approximately $5.4 million in personnel, rent, and other expenses within his own budget. Additionally, his appointment has prompted about $3.8 million in spending by other Justice Department agencies. However, these figures only account for activities until the end of March and exclude the period leading up to Trump’s indictment in June and the escalation of the election-related probe. Smith impaneled a second grand jury in Florida shortly before issuing charges against Trump.
The report sheds light on the unique nature of Smith’s investigations and the significant reactions they have sparked. The U.S. Marshals Service, responsible for providing security to the special prosecutor, accounted for over half of the off-budget expenses, amounting to $1.93 million. Smith has been accompanied by deputy marshals during his commute to and from his Washington office.
Smith took over ongoing investigations and largely maintained the existing staffing when he assumed his role. The report does not detail the expenditures incurred by the Justice Department for the related investigations prior to Smith’s appointment. However, the initial snapshot of Smith’s activity suggests an intense and active investigation, as witnessed by the parade of witnesses, including former Vice President Mike Pence, who have appeared before the grand jury at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.
In contrast, another report released on Friday indicates that a special counsel appointed in January to examine President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents found in his Delaware home has spent $615,000 through March, with other parts of the DOJ incurring about $572,000 in expenses. This report, however, provides a limited window into the initial activity of special counsel Robert Hur before assuming his post in January.
Additionally, John Durham, the third special counsel, spent $1.1 million in the six months leading up to March 31 as he concluded his report on the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia probe. Durham’s expenses during that period were minimal, totaling approximately $59,000, as his investigation neared its end.
Overall, Durham’s investigation, which lasted 3½ years, including both on-budget and off-budget expenses, incurred a total cost of approximately $9.4 million. The figures released by the DOJ do not encompass the earlier phase of his inquiry, initiated in 2019 at the behest of Attorney General William Barr but formally designated as a special counsel probe in October 2020.
In comparison, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of Russian influence on the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and related matters incurred approximately $31.45 million in direct and indirect expenditures over the course of about two years, with additional expenses related to winding down the office for another year.