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Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Through Sept. 30 of this year, special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election has cost taxpayers just over $25 million including $8.5 million over the last six months, ABC News reports.

Why it matters: President Trump has often complained about the cost of the Mueller investigation, saying its costs have exceeded $40 million. According to this report, that is not the case.

By the numbers: Mueller's team has dialed back spending in recent months, according to the report.

  • The team spent $4.6 million from the special counsel's budget from April through September, according to the Justice Department's report. The department also provided an additional $3.9 million, bringing the total to $8.5 million.
  • The spending shows a 15% decrease from the previous six-month period where the team spent $10 million.
  • The largest expense was for personal compensation with has costs reaching $2.9 million. The team also spent nearly $1 million on rent, communications and utilities as well as more than $580,000 on travel.

Mueller is expected to bring in tens of millions of dollars in fines, making up the difference in some of the costs for the investigation, per ABC News.

  • This includes $22.3 million in forfeited real estate properties from Paul Manafort's plea deal. Manafort also faces up to $500,000 in fines.
  • Others, including Michael Cohen and George Papadopolous, have been sentenced to $79,500 in fines.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

New deals in the COVID economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

3 hours ago - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Saudi Arabia denies Netanyahu met secretly with crown prince

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif at a press conference on Nov. 18. Photo: Menahem Kahana/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled in secret Sunday to the city of Neom on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli sources told me.

The latest: Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan on Monday denied the meeting took place — a signal that the Saudis may be unhappy with the leak or are at least trying to publicly distance themselves from the meeting. Netanyahu, on the other hand, has not denied the story.