DC bar patrons drink their way through Cohen testimony
© Greg Nash

Patrons cheered and the Guinness flowed at a Washington, D.C., pub on Wednesday — but it wasn’t a sporting event that had revelers hooting and hollering — it was Michael Cohen’s testimony before Congress.

Politics watchers began to pack Duffy’s Irish Pub, in the District’s H Street NE neighborhood, shortly after House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsTrump pushes back on impeachment talk: 'Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!' Trump, businesses sue Oversight chairman to block subpoena for financial records The Hill's Morning Report - Is impeachment back on the table? MORE (D-Md.) gaveled the hearing into session and Cohen accused President Trump, his former client, of being a “racist” and a “cheat.”


“It’s a really exciting time for the nation,” a bespectacled grad student told reporters — who had outnumbered the bar’s customers before the hearing got underway — as she settled into a corner booth at the watering hole. “The president definitely needs to answer for everything he’s accountable for,” she added.

In a uniquely D.C. move, the pub was one of several eateries to open their doors early and host Cohen-themed watch parties. Eight large flat-screen TVs had the day’s proceedings blaring at Duffy’s.

One group of women arrived sporting T-shirts with strong political messages, including one emblazoned with “Democrats give a shit about people” and another that read “Abort Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceJuan Williams: Buttigieg already making history Pence: Mueller report confirms 'no collusion, no obstruction' Melania Trump, Karen Pence say they're ready to serve four more years in White House MORE.” Another woman, holding a small child in a baby carrier slung across her torso, pulled up one of the few remaining empty barstools.

As Cohen — Trump’s former personal lawyer and “fixer” — was about to begin his opening statement, one of the bar's viewers pulled out a cellphone to snap a photo of the TV.

“Get ready for the cover of The New York Times tomorrow,” the man exclaimed.

There a collective “wow” when Cohen claimed that Trump had referred to his 2016 presidential campaign as “the greatest infomercial in political history,” a move that would significantly up his brand and increase future revenue streams.

“This is amazing,” one pub patron remarked loudly.

The restaurant erupted after Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Mueller report poses new test for Dems Washington in frenzy over release of Mueller report MORE (R-N.C.) told Cohen he had spoken with Trump “over 300 times” and had never heard any racist comments from the president. Customers began yelling at the TVs, shouting, “What?” in disbelief.

The volume on the TV sets was raised as the bar crowd in D.C., where Trump earned just 4 percent of the vote in the 2016 election, began to grow bigger and more boisterous.

After another testy exchange between Cohen and Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanDems digging into Trump finances post-Mueller Overnight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Cummings accuses Oversight Republicans of obstructing drug price probe MORE (R-Ohio), one pub visitor praised the ex-lawyer, who was disbarred a day earlier, “That was good. He has nothing to lose.”

Duffy’s offered a one-day-only drink special to mark Cohen’s testimony, dubbed the “Flipper Cocktail.” The bar’s owner had described the $8 drink to ITK as "Russian influenced, a little bitter and 100 percent pardon free."

But the green-hued adult beverage seemed to surprise imbibers. A bartender was overheard telling customers: “It turns purple as it settles, so it's bipartisan.”