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With latest expenditures, special counsel Jack Smith has spent nearly $13M on Trump probes, DOJ report shows

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — Between April and September of last year, special counsel Jack Smith spent $7.3 million on his probes into former President Donald Trump, raising his total expenses to nearly $12.7 million, according to reports released Friday detailing the expenditures of Smith and other special prosecutors.


Smith’s $7.3 million in expenditures between April and September were driven largely by compensation for staff as well as contractual services like litigation support, IT services and transcripts costs.

Other Justice Department expenses related to the probes, including the hours worked by investigative support analysts and the costs of protective details for Smith, came to an additional $7.2 million during that period, meaning the DOJ overall spent over $14.5 million between April and September of last year as part of the investigations into efforts by Trump to overturn the 2020 election and unlawfully retain classified documents.

In the previous period between November 2022 and March of 2023, Smith’s investigation cost the Justice Department more than $9.2 million, including $5.4 million spent by Smith’s office itself.

Added together, between Smith’s appointment in November of 2022 and September of this year, the Justice Department has spent more than $23 million on his investigations, including the $12.7 million spent by Smith’s office itself.

The new expenditure reports show how Smith’s investigations expanded significantly during the period when his prosecutors returned two separate indictments charging Trump with unlawfully retaining classified documents after leaving office and attempting to overturn the 2020 election results. Trump has pleaded guilty in both cases and has denied all wrongdoing.

The Justice Department spent more than $5.2 million between April and September of last year on special counsel Robert Hur’s investigation of President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents after his time serving as vice president, the expenditure reports show. Hur’s office itself reported $2.8 million in expenses, while DOJ components supporting his office separately reported $2.4 million in expenditures.

All told, since his appointment in January of last year, Hur’s investigation has cost the Justice Department nearly $6.4 million, including $3.4 million in expenses from Hur’s office itself. No charges have been filed in that probe.

In special counsel David Weiss’ first month and a half on the job, between Aug. 11 and Sept. 30, the Justice Department reported just over $310,000 in expenses toward his investigation into President Biden’s son Hunter Biden. Weiss himself reported just $182,683 in expenditures, largely because he initially operated his office out of the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware.

Other DOJ components, including the cost of Weiss’ protective detail, reported more than $132,000 in expenses. The younger Biden has pleaded not guilty to federal gun charges and was indicted last month on tax charges.

By comparison, special counsel Robert Mueller spent around $32 million over the course of his two-year investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 election, which resulted in indictments against 33 individuals and three Russian businesses. Mueller racked up nearly $7 million in expenses in his first six months on the job.

The Ken Starr probe into Whitewater — the 1990s investigation into Bill and Hillary Clinton and their associates’ real estate dealings, which later expanded into other matters — went on for more than six years and cost more than $70 million in expenditures, not adjusted for inflation.

Both Clintons were ultimately cleared of criminal wrongdoing and neither were charged.

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