Special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe cost about $3.8 million over its first year in operation, according to reports released by the Justice Department.
The reports, including one released Wednesday, show Durham’s team spent more than $2.8 million on travel, salaries, benefits, IT services and litigative support from October 2020 through September 2021. Other parts of the Justice Department that supported the special counsel’s office spent nearly $1 million in that time frame.
Durham was appointed during the Trump administration to investigate the FBI’s Russia probe, which uncovered contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians during the 2016 election.
His work was launched in 2019 by then-Attorney General William Barr, a skeptic of the Russia investigation. The Justice Department regulations that govern Durham’s conduct don’t require a public report – but previous special counsels, including Robert Mueller, have publicly released their findings.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said in October that he wants “as much as possible” of Durham’s eventual report to be released publicly.
“With respect to the report, I would like as much as possible to be made public,” Garland said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “I have to be concerned about Privacy Act concerns and classification, but other than that, the commitment is to provide a public report, yes.”
Garland also pledged that there would not be any political interference with Durham’s investigation. The probe has been criticized by many Democrats, largely because it is seen as an effort by to undermine the Russia investigation.
Former President Donald Trump has suggested that Durham’s investigation will uncover a vast conspiracy to use the FBI and the Justice Department against his 2016 campaign and will lead to criminal charges against senior Obama administration officials. The first six months of Durham’s investigation, however, did not result in any arrests.
By September, however, it had landed two indictments – one for Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann and another for Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst who was a source for the 2016 dossier of allegations about Trump. They were indicted separately for allegedly lying to the FBI, and both have pleaded not guilty.
CNN’s Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.