Dispatch December 5, 2017

Mueller’s Investigation is Cheaper than Whitewater and Iran-Contra


To put the $3.2M Robert Mueller has reported spending on his investigation in context, below are costs of two other major recent investigations of presidential administrations – the investigations into Whitewater and Iran-Contra. (Note: all inflation adjustments are based on the CPI calculator from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

The Mueller investigation – which is far more complex than Whitewater and has already resulted in charges and plea deals for senior Trump officials –  is coming in cheaper than the investigations into both Whitewater and Iran-Contra.

  • WHITEWATER: Ken Starr’s probes into the Clinton administration spent more than $70 million over more than six years, which adjusted for inflation would be $102 million in today’s dollars. Whitewater would cost about $5.6 million for a similar four-month period in today’s dollars.
  • IRAN-CONTRA: Lawrence Walsh spent $47.4 million investigating Iran-Contra over eight years, which adjusted for inflation would be around $82 million in today’s dollars. Iran-Contra would cost about $3.4 million for a similar four-month period in today’s dollars.