For a trial whose outcome was never really in doubt, was it worth it?
Opinions vary (of course) on this one, but one fact is clear: The second Trump impeachment trial – this for incitement of an insurrection – concluded on Saturday without the former president being convicted.
As the dust settles, a natural question: How much did this process cost American taxpayers?
According to Roll Call, a non-partisan Washington, D.C., news organization, the first impeachment trial in January 2020 ran up an estimated toll of $1.83 million, most of which was already budgeted in Congressional operations.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, put the number at $3.06 million, including the salaries of lawmakers, 106 congressional staffers and six lawyers.
These figures pale in comparison to the pursuit of former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. A CNN report put the taxpayers’ price tag of that independent investigation at approximately $80 million.
The first Trump impeachment trial, estimated at $11.5 million by Yahoo! Finance, ran almost three weeks, significantly longer than the second, with the Senate debate lasting only five days this time.
Peripheral costs from the attempted takeover of the Capitol added up, too. The need for more military and law enforcement following the Jan. 6 attack ran up a bill of an additional $519 million, according to reports.
A Fox Business story reported that U.S. taxpayers will not be on the hook for the money going toward Trump’s defense, — an amount yet to be determined. The story reports that through November 2020, “the Republican Party paid $225,000 to the law firms of Jay Sekulow and Jane Raskin since 2017, when they were named to Trump’s legal team.”
The Washington Post reported the GOP will continue to pay the two through the end of this month.