Judicial Watch: DOJ Refuses to Release Budget of Special Counsel Robert Mueller – By Michael W. Chapman (cnsnews.com) / Jan 30 2018
(CNSNews.com) — The Department of Justice refuses to release the proposed budget for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged “collusion” between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia, according to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Judicial Watch is seeking the budget data under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.
When Judicial Watch requested the information, the DOJ responded on Jan. 19 that “seven pages were located that contain records responsive to your … request.” However, said the DOJ, “We have determined that this material should be withheld in full because it is protected from disclosure under the FOIA.” The DOJ claims that releasing the budget proposal could interfere with “law enforcement proceedings.”
“Special Counsel Mueller’s operation is not above the law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The American people have a right to know how much taxpayer money is planned for his massive investigation.”
“No one else in D.C. seems to be providing oversight of the Mueller operation, so once again it is up to the citizen’s group Judicial Watch to fight for accountability,” said Fitton.
In its lawsuit, Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice, Judicial Watch asked for the following information:
“A copy of the budget prepared and submitted by Robert S. Mueller III or his staff….
“A copy of all guidance memoranda and communications by which the Justice Management Division will review the Special Counsel’s Office’s ‘Statement of Expenditures’…
“A copy of each document scoping, regulating, or governing the Special Counsel’s Office appointed under the leadership of Mueller III…”
According to Judicial Watch, the DOJ “has thus far ignored” the group’s requests “for documents about its management of the Mueller operation.”
The DOJ did send Judicial Watch a copy of the special counsel’s expenditures from May 17, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2017, showing a total of $3,213,695, or more than $800,000 a month.