Mueller's Russian Federation probe costs over 16 mln dollars

Earlier this year Donald Trump condemned the probe as a'$20,000,000 Witch Hunt

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation to interfere in the 2016 election (and related matters) cost the government more than $16.7 million over its first 10.5 months, according to figures released by the Justice Department on Thursday.

The Justice Department previously reported that about 6.7 million dollars were spent from the time Mueller was appointed special counsel in May 2017 to the end of September, according to a Bloomberg report.

Flynn, one of Trump's most vocal campaign surrogates, also agreed to cooperate with Mueller's investigators.

The FBI began a counterintelligence investigation in July 2016 to determine whether Trump campaign associates coordinated with Russian Federation to tip the election.

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in television interviews Sunday, suggested Trump might have that authority to pardon himself but would be unwise to use it.

Which brings us to these letters.

The first, dated last June, argued there was "no statutory or constitutional basis" for an obstruction of justice charge against Mr Trump. Giuliani has said that the president's legal team believes the special counsel does not have the authority to do so.

To that end, the president and Giuliani have in recent weeks embarked on a public relations war against Mueller and Trump's perceived enemies at the Justice Department.

The lawyers also argued the subpoena would be "a considerable burden for the President and his Office", and that "having him testify demeans the Office of the President before the world".

Mr Trump has addressed the controversy over the letter, once again likening the investigation to a "witch hunt". "Despite that, we play the game because I, unlike the Democrats, have done nothing wrong!" the president tweeted. In the letter, President Trump's attorneys noted the "unprecedented access and voluntary cooperation in the collection of all documents requested from the White House, the Donald J. Trump For President Inc., and individual witnesses".

It was not immediately clear what report Giuliani was referring to.

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"He could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired", the letter says. At the March 5 session, according to one of the sources, Mueller made the case that only Trump himself can talk about what his intent was regarding certain actions he took after assuming the presidency, which remains the Mueller team's position.

"A quick scroll through his Twitter feed shows how much of his time is consumed by thinking about the investigation".

Trump tweets on Monday: "The appointment of the Special Councel is totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!"

"The fact that Trump felt compelled to weigh in on the ongoing legal debate over whether or not he can pardon himself (as well as whether or not Mueller can subpoena him or indict him) means the idea that there may eventually be something to pardon himself for is on his mind".

"He will do anything he can get away with".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, right, accompanied by White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, left, arrives for the daily press briefing at the White House, Monday in Washington.

Beyond that, his lawyers have repeatedly insisted that it's beyond dispute that a sitting president can not be criminally prosecuted. Here's what she said.

But Blackman said that was overly simplistic, that the better question is how the law applies to the president.

A 1974 opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Opinion maintains that presidents can not pardon themselves "under the fundamental rule that no one may be a judge in his own case", though that question has never been tested before the country's highest court.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia inquiry after it was revealed that he had met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign and did not disclose the meetings during his Senate confirmation hearing.

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