Mueller Investigation Costs and Time Compared to Special Counsel Investigations under Former U.S. Presidents in New Report

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A new report commissioned by the A-Mark Foundation compares special investigations involving Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Trump by total cost, per day cost, total time of investigations, and other data.

A new report, “Special Investigations Involving U.S. Presidents and Their Admins Since 1973,” commissioned by the A-Mark Foundation, presents the length, cost, and details of special investigations under eight presidential administrations using charts, graphs, and comparative data. The 50-page report is available for free at

The ongoing special investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election process so far has cost $6,759,695 over 137 days of Department of Justice expenditure reporting from May 17, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2017. It has cost about $49,340.84 per day – the highest per day cost of the other presidential investigations examined since 1973.

The investigation with the highest total cost and the greatest number of days was the investigation into Whitewater under the Bill Clinton administration, which cost taxpayers $83,358,502.05 ($22,432.32/day) over 3,716 days.

The cost of the Watergate special investigation during Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford’s administrations was $47,094,590.10 (adjusted for inflation) over 1,464 days for $32,168.44 per day.

Details about these investigations as well as special prosecutor/independent counsel/special counsel investigations under Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and others that took many hours of research, documents the findings in straightforward charts, graphs, and sourced data. The report is available at no charge at

“Special Investigations Involving U.S. Presidents and Their Admins Since 1973” was commissioned by the A-Mark Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded and chaired by Steven C. Markoff, a prominent Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist. Mr. Markoff explains:

“Given the many discussions and theories about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible collusion among Donald Trump, his campaign and Russia in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, the A-Mark Foundation commissioned this report on such special investigations involving presidents and their administrations starting with President Richard Nixon in 1973 in part to see how the current Trump investigation compares to past presidential investigations.

While each investigation has its own facts and circumstances, this report should add a bit of sunlight to the somewhat arcane world of special counsel / independent counsel / special prosecutor investigations.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed by acting Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to conduct an investigation into, among other duties, “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”

Critics contend that the investigation has gone on long enough, has found no evidence of collusion, and should end. Others say that the investigation should go on as long as necessary.

Some of those critics and defenders are referenced here in chronological order:

“The president, the administration, and his legal team must not take any steps to curtail, interfere with, or end the special counsel’s investigation or there will be severe consequences from both Democrats and Republicans.”
Charles Schumer, Congressman (D-New York), Tweet from @SenSchumer on March 17, 2018

“We do know it’s been a darn long time. And it’s about time to wrap it up, so let’s hope that he [Robert Mueller] does that.”
Congressman Jim Jordan (R - Ohio), March 20, 2018, Interview on NPR with David Greene

“There’s a growing frustration that after more than a year and millions and millions of dollars spent on this, there remains no evidence of collusion with Russia. I think at some point the American people are owed an answer to say: ‘OK, if there was no collusion, how much longer will this drag on?’”
Marc Short, White House Director of Legislative Affairs, March 18, 2018, Interview on Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan.

“Russia attacked our country. Let special counsel Mueller figure that out. And if you believe as we [House Intelligence Committee] have found, there’s no evidence to collusion, you should want special counsel Mueller to take all the time, and have all the independence he needs to do his job.”

Trey Gowdy, Congressman (R - South Carolina), Interview on Fox News Sunday, March 18, 2018

“We urge President Trump to allow the Special Counsel to complete his work without impediment.”
US Senators Thom Tillis (R – North Carolina) and Christopher Coons (D - Delaware), joint statement issued on March 27, 2018

The A-Mark Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation whose purpose is to support “needy individuals and organizations that are serving a charitable, educational or humanitarian purpose.” Projects run by the A-Mark Foundation can be explored at

For media interviews with Mr. Markoff, please contact scmarkoff(at)aol(dot)com.

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