Former FBI director James Comey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning about his conversations with President Donald Trump surrounding the Russia investigation. So I decided to head to nearby Shaw’s Tavern, a Washington, D.C., bar, where bartenders were advertising special deals and serving Comey-themed cocktails and menu items in honor of the day’s events.
Here’s what happened.
Proving that it’s always five o’clock somewhere, the bar was packed with people even though the workday had barely just started. At 10:00 a.m., the line to get into the restaurant was out the door and down the block. Fortunately, my housemate and a few of her friends had snagged a table on the patio and saved a seat for me.
The patio was very crowded. Between those seated at tables and bystanders standing in a herd just outside the patio boundary to get a glimpse of the TV, which was placed outside and tuned to CNN, there were roughly 85 or more people hanging out at a bar on a Thursday morning.
I’d estimate there was roughly one reporter for every four or five customers. I saw and spoke with reporters from The Washington Post, Voice of America, NBC, Fox 5 DC, and AFP (the French news service, not the political organization), to name a few. One reporter armed with a notebook approached my table, and the patio was surrounded by at least eight people carrying T.V. cameras. It was a spectacle.
The pub offered themed menu items.
My housemate and I both enjoyed “The Covfefe Coffee,” which was a cup of Joe, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.
She followed it up with the FBI sandwich — a fried chicken sandwich topped with bacon, lettuce, and “top secret sauce,” aka Thousand Island. Surprisingly, the sandwich was not full of baloney. I had a burger.
Kind table neighbors offered my friends and I some sangria, which we gladly accepted!
For the most part, the crowd was pretty tame. Some did cheer when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) made a tortured analogy about an armed robbery while questioning Comey, the former FBI director. Some also hooted and hollered a bit when Comey said the blindfold of justice needed to be firmly affixed to one’s face.
The hearing was a bit of a dud, especially if you were hoping for him to drop a new bombshell or demand Trump’s impeachment, but at least some reporters had an excuse to day-drink and cheer on a Trump antagonist while pretending to work.