Washingtonians gathered this morning at Shaw's Tavern for a "Comey Hearing Covfefe" to witness the latest developments in the President Trump-Russia saga.
Guests lined the block, waiting to get inside to order a specialty Russian vodka and an "FBI Sandwich" (fried chicken breast, bacon, iceberg lettuce) as media asked them why they had decided to spend their Thursday morning at a bar rather than someplace else.
"Why did Trump win? Because of this!" shouted one impassioned passerby, presumably referring to the crowd-gathering that the President so frequently induces.
This crowd wasn't here just for a lark. As Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., commenced the hearing and crowds both inside and out quickly became silent, fixing their eyes and ears on one of five televisions that were set up.
Comey soon elicited applause and cheers from the Shaw's clientele for calling the administration's justification for firing him "lies," followed by more claps when he concluded his opening remarks.
Throughout, there were more stints of quiet and even of laughter, particularly when Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told Comey, "I believe the timing of your firing stinks" and when Comey spoke of how his mother raised him.
The crowd wasn't uniform in opinions. Oh, everyone hated Trump, of course, but opinions of Comey varied. One guest called him a seasoned and professional bureaucrat, looking out for himself. "That's what bureaucrats do," she said.
Others were undecided on the former FBI director. "I keep trying to figure that out," said Seppi, a prospective law student. Although she didn't expect today's hearing to help her reach a conclusion about Comey, she said she hoped the hearing would solidify things we already know about the investigation. "I want something that we can kind of hold on to for just a second within this news cycle."
What did most of the watchers hope to get out of the gathering? It seems they wanted to watch history unfold.
"It's this generation's Watergate," said one guest, a retired State Department employee. She continued, "This is a piece of a bigger puzzle. It's not enough in itself," meaning to bring down President Trump, which – as the laughs and claps indicated – appears to be the hope of many.