Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference has cost U.S. taxpayers just over $25 million over the course of 16 months, according to a recent CNBC report.
But the probe has also caught individuals guilty of tax evasion, and the amount recouped could be as much as $48 million.
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.
As part of his plea deal, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort agreed to forfeit between $42 million and $46 million, which includes $22 million in property.
And Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen will be forking over $1.4 million in unpaid taxes, over $500,000 in assets, and $100,000 in fines as part of his plea deal after facing numerous charges of financial crimes.
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.