The report also highlights the unusual nature of Smith’s investigations and the strong reactions they generated. The $3.8 million figure includes the cost of security details for the special prosecutor, who was seen flanked by agents as he commuted to and from his Washington office.
The various investigations Smith is overseeing were well underway when he took over and he has largely retained existing staff, although he has added a few prosecutors in recent months. The new report does not indicate how much the Justice Department spent on related investigations in the months before Smith, a former head of the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, agreed to leave his job as a war crimes prosecutor in Europe and return to Washington to take over the politically sensitive Trump investigation.
However, even the first snapshot of Smith’s activity suggests an intense and active investigation that was seen in glimpses at federal courthouse in Washington, DC, where a parade of witnesses – including former Vice President Mike Pence – appeared before to the grand jury.
By contrast, a special counsel appointed in January to look into President Joe Biden’s handling of confidential documents discovered at his Delaware home spent $615,000 through March and led to other parts of the Justice Department spending about $615,000. 572,000, another report off Friday indicates. However, Special Counsel Robert Hur didn’t officially take over for him until January, providing a limited window into his initial activity before the semiannual expense reports.
A third special counsel, John Durham, spent $1.1 million in the six months leading up to March 31, as he concluded his report on the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation that hung over the Trump administration for much of his term. When Durham’s investigation concluded, the DOJ incurred little expense for his investigation during that time, totaling only about $59,000.
Durham delivered its final report in May after largely unsuccessful court efforts to pursue criminal cases related to the investigation.