Even though White House officials have said multiple times that the investigation into the alleged connection between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia and the alleged Russian meddling into the U.S. presidential election will probably end very soon, Trump’s new budget projects that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will stretch into fiscal year 2019.
The budget projects that Mueller’s team will keep spending at its current rate of about 10 million dollars per year in the next fiscal year, which starts in October, according to Politico.
A criminal case against Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates is pending. The date for the trial is not set, but it is expected that it could begin in August or September. If that happens, it would almost certainly extend into fiscal year 2019.
Even though the White House said it expects Mueller to finish soon, White House attorney Ty Cobb said this week that Trump’s team is not looking for Mueller’s office to shut down its operations entirely, merely to resolve parts of the investigation that focus on the president.
“We’re not looking for these guys to close up shop, but we are interested in trying to get the president’s piece of this resolved quickly,” Cobb said.
Mueller’s office released a spending report in December. In it, the office reported direct spending of 3.2 million dollars from the time of Mueller’s appointment in May until the end of fiscal year 2017 last September.The Justice Department spent about 3.5 million dollars during the same period for the personnel assigned to Mueller’s team.
According to a Justice Department spokesman, the 10 million dollars figures for the current and next fiscal years placeholder are amounts consistent with amounts used in previous years when independent/special counsels were in existence.