If you stop by Galveston’s Rosenberg Library over the next couple of days, you might overhear the words of one of the county’s most famous people.

A Galveston group on Wednesday evening began a marathon reading of The Mueller Report, the 448-page investigation into Russian election interference, and allegations of conspiracy and of obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump and his campaign.

The event is being organized as an effort toward civic engagement, said Kathleen DiNatale, the founder of Public Reads-Galveston, the group organizing the event.

The group plans to have 64 people read the entire contents of the report (minus the footnotes) over the course of four days, she said. The event is meant to be non-partisan, DiNatale said. Readers will be limited to reading just the words in the report, and aren’t supposed to make political statements, she said.

The goal is to give people the opportunity to hear the contents of the report, without getting spun by the likes of Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity, she said.

“People have really strong feelings one way or another without knowing what’s in it,” DiNatale said. “It will help clarify some of the misunderstandings that are out there about it.”

DiNatale has signed up both Democrats and Republicans to read from the report, she said. But she expected that most people who attend the event would identify as Democrats, she said.

The Mueller Report was released in April, after two years of investigation. The report determined that the Russian government did attempt to interfere in the 2016 election by sowing discord through social media, and stealing and releasing hacked materials from Hillary Clinton‘s campaign to the public.

It also outlined the ways Trump and his administration attempted to influence the investigation as it went on.

The report did not recommend charging Trump with obstruction of justice, citing Justice Department policies that leave that decision to Congress. It did not explicitly say the president did not commit obstruction.

Readings will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, at the Rosenberg Library, 2310 23rd St. in Galveston.

JUNETEENTH AND GOVERNMENT

Juneteenth, which was Wednesday, was recognized several ways by elected officials in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn was the top sponsor of a Senate resolution declaring Wednesday “Juneteenth Independence Day.”

The resolution, which is identical to ones passed in previous years, “supports the continued nationwide celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day to provide an opportunity for the people of the United States to learn more about the past and to better understand the experiences that have shaped the United States.”

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for president, tweeted that Juneteenth should be recognized as a national holiday.

The White House issued a statement calling Juneteenth a “joyous day.”

“For millions of African Americans, Juneteenth has served as an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental truth that all people are created equal and that liberty is a right endowed by our Creator,” the statement said.

Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, used the holiday to hold a hearing on a bill that proposes that the federal government study reparations — the idea of paying money to the descendants of slaves as a way to remedy the harm caused by slavery and years of government-sanctioned discrimination.

The idea is controversial, but has the support of some liberal lawmakers.

“I just simply ask: Why not and why not now?” said U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the Houston Democrat who sponsored the resolution.

NOTEBOOK

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill on Saturday legalizing “beer to go,” allowing consumers to buy beer directly from the craft breweries. You can buy up to 288 fluid ounces (or 24 cans) a day from your favorite brewery starting Sept. 1. ... U.S. Rep. Randy Weber on Wednesday voted against an appropriations bill that increases funding to U.S. labor agencies, including the Energy Department and the Health and Human Services Department, and makes cuts to military spending. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives, goes against the budget proposed by President Donald Trump. The White House wanted to cut the agencies’ budgets. ... “It is completely unrealistic and totally irresponsible to vote for legislation that would force us into sequestration and result in devastating cuts to our military.” ... There are 138 days until the next election day, the Nov. 5 Uniform Election Day for local entities.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(9) comments

Steve Fouga

"DiNatale has signed up both Democrats and Republicans to read from the report, she said. But she expected that most people who attend the event would identify as Democrats, she said." Undoubtedly. I fear most Republicans are scared to hear what's in the report.

Bailey Jones

Easy to sum up - "Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President's conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Gary Miller

It did not explicitly say the president did not commit obstruction. It also did not say the president didn't rob a bank or perform a abortion. He is not guilty of any of thousands of things not mentioned in this failed witch hunt.

Bailey Jones

You're right Gary, no mention of bank robbery here. I think that's covered by the Deutsche Bank investigations. What this report does say is that there is no clear evidence that the president is innocent of obstruction of justice. I recommend that everyone read at least the executive summaries - https://www.lawfareblog.com/full-text-mueller-reports-executive-summaries and decide for themselves.

Carlos Ponce

In other words, Bailey, there was insufficient evidence.

Carlos Ponce

"Undoubtedly. I fear most Republicans are scared to hear what's in the report." No Steve. Republicans have read the report and it exonerated Team Trump on collusion and there was insufficient evidence to prove collusion.

Diane Turski

Reading the Mueller Report aloud in public is an excellent idea to educate people so they know what they are talking about, and then they can critically consider what others are saying about it.

Gary Miller

Learn? The readers might remember one or two lines, listeners to the reading will remember less.

Dalton Logan

I think that the only people there to listen to the reading will be the readers themselves.[sleeping]

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