More than 25 House Democrats, including the chairman and vice chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, began a nonstop marathon reading of the entire redacted Mueller report Thursday afternoon.
The reading of all 448 pages of the special counsel’s report, taking place in the House Rules Committee room in the U.S. Capitol, is expected to last between 12 to 14 hours, concluding in the early hours of Friday morning.
Earlier this week, Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) told The Washington Post: “We’ve been saying for weeks that if you think there was no obstruction and no collusion, you haven’t read the Mueller report. So, the ongoing quest has been how do we get that story out there while we are waiting for the witnesses to come in.”
Scanlon organized the effort last week and started off the reading at noon. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), House Judiciary Committee chairman, took over about 1 p.m. Reps. Sylvia Garcia (D-Tex.), Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) also took shifts throughout the afternoon.
The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed the Department of Justice for the full, unredacted report into Russian interference in the 2016 election and has requested that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III appear before it by May 23. The committee has also scheduled a hearing to question former White House counsel, Donald McGahn, on May 21; his attendance has not been confirmed.
During a news conference before the reading, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) discussed a potential next step in the efforts to get more information on the special counsel’s report.
“I believe we are at a point now that we should issue a resolution of investigation. That resolution would come to the Rules Committee and ultimately to the floor of the House, which would then instruct the Judiciary Committee to have a full-fledged investigation which could not be challenged or would be difficult to challenge by the president’s whimsical comments of who can testify and who cannot,” said Jackson Lee.
Scanlon will be the last reader, and her office plans to release an audio book of the reading. When asked if there are fears this will add to criticisms that Democrats are engaging in political theater, Scanlon said: “It’s not a ploy to keep anything going. The Mueller report was a mandate from the Department of Justice that there be an investigation into these very troubling aspects about what was happening in our government.
“So you know, it may be inconvenient, it may be time consuming but it’s what we have to do.”