By ALANNA DURKIN RICHER (Associated Press)
Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigations of former President Donald Trump’s retention of classified records and efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election have cost more than $9 million over the first several months, according to documents released Friday.
The special counsel’s office spent more than $5.4 million on things like employees’ salaries, travel and transportation, rent, supplies and materials from Smith’s appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November 2022 through the end of March, Justice Department statement of expenditures show.
Justice Department agencies spent another $3.8 million to support the special counsel. Those expenses include the cost of the protective details for the special counsel’s office as well as hours worked by agents and analysts on the probes.
Trump was indicted last month on 37 felony counts alleging he illegally kept classified records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and refused government demands to give them back. Trump and his valet, Walt Nauta — who was charged alongside the former president — have both pleaded not guilty.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and slammed the prosecution as an attempt to hurt his bid to reclaim the White House in 2024.
Smith has also been digging into efforts by Trump and his allies to undo President Joe Biden’s election victory.
Since Smith’s appointment, he has cast a broad net in demanding interviews and testimony related to fundraising, Trump’s rally that preceded the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, and communications between Trump associates and election officials in battleground states.
In December, Smith subpoenaed local election officials in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania, asking for communications with or involving Trump, his 2020 campaign aides and a list of allies who were involved in his efforts to try to overturn the results of the election.
The Justice Department also released details on Friday about spending on the investigation led by former Maryland U.S. Attorney Robert Hur into the presence of documents with classified markings found at President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware and at an office in Washington. Hur’s team spent about $600,000 and another $570,000 was spent in Justice Department support expenses in the first roughly two months of that probe.
In comparison, Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the 2016 Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to tilt the outcome of the election in his favor cost roughly $32 million, according to Justice Department documents. The Mueller investigation resulted in roughly three dozen criminal charges, including convictions of a half-dozen Trump associates.
Meanwhile, Special Counsel John Durham’s recently concluded four-year investigation into possible government mistakes and misconduct in the probe into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign cost more than $9 million. Durham’s report, released in May, said that the FBI rushed into its Russia investigation and relied too much on raw and unconfirmed intelligence. Durham’s investigation led to prosecutors securing a guilty plea from a little-known FBI employee but losing the only two criminal cases they took to trial.