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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

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.

41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Diana Walker, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A small group of Senate Democrats is privately invoking the legacy of late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd in an effort to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support their plans to change the chamber's rules, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Manchin — who holds Byrd's Senate seat — has often referenced his predecessor's strong moral conviction and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution, as justification for some of his tough positions.

House votes to ban imports from Xinjiang over forced labor concerns

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The House voted 428-1 on Wednesday to pass a bill that would ban all imports from the Chinese region of Xinjiang unless the U.S. government determines that the products were not made with forced labor.

Why it matters: Both the Trump and Biden administrations, as well as several foreign parliaments, have recognized China's repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as genocide.