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 CummingsDHS chief to Pelosi: Emergency border funding 'has already had an impact' Cummings tears into DHS chief for conditions at migrant border facilities EXCLUSIVE: Career officials rebut claims of White House interference in security clearance process 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 PenceHow China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade Trump says he disagrees with 'send her back' chant Trump refers to Ocasio-Cortez as just 'Cortez' because it 'takes too much time' to say full name 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 MeadowsLawmakers request documents on DC councilman ethics investigation House Republicans dismissive of Paul Ryan's take on Trump The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran 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 JordanDOJ, Commerce slam House Dems contempt vote as 'political stunt' White House blasts 'shameful and cynical' Barr, Ross contempt vote House votes to hold Trump Cabinet members Barr, Ross in contempt 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.”