Special counsel spent $5.4 million on Trump probes through March

Special Counsel Jack Smith arrives to speak to the press at the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC, on June 9, 2023, announcing the unsealing of the indictment against former US President Donald Trump.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Special counsel Jack Smith’s office spent more than $5.4 million during the four and a half months since he took over two criminal probes centered on former President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice said Friday.

Most of that sum, nearly $4.6 million, went toward staff salaries and benefits and paying for contractual services, including IT and “litigation/investigative support,” according to a report posted by the DOJ.

Smith’s operation spent the remainder of the money on travel, rent, printing, supplies, acquisition of equipment, according to the statement of expenditures. The report covers the period from Nov. 18 through the end of March.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith in mid-November to lead two criminal investigations. One probe, into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House, has yielded an unprecedented federal criminal case against the former president. Trump has pleaded not guilty in that case to 37 counts of crimes including willful retention of national defense information and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Smith’s other probe, into possibly illegal efforts to interfere with the transfer of power to President Joe Biden after the 2020 election, is ongoing.

The DOJ on Friday also released separate spending reports for two other special counsels, Robert Hur and John Durham.

Hur, who was tasked in mid-January with investigating classified documents discovered at Biden’s office and private residence, has spent $615,962 over about three and a half months, according to the DOJ.

Durham, who was probing the origins of the DOJ’s investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign, spent more than $1.1 million from last October through the end of March, the agency reported.

Durham had been appointed in October 2020. The sum of his five expenditure reports over that time period equals $7.7 million.

The special counsels’ activities are funded by the permanent appropriation for independent counsels, the reports note.

The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service also incurred a combined $3.8 million in support of Smith’s probes, but that figure is not included in the $5.4 million total because the agencies paid their own respective costs. Smith’s spending report notes that the FBI and USMS are not legally required to track those expenditures.

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