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Behind Comey’s left shoulder...
Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District in Manhattan, got a prime seat in the Senate hearing room for former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday.
Bharara tweeted from his seat, writing: “We can all agree with Jim Comey that, Lordy, we hope there are tapes.”
Bharara, who reportedly got his seat thanks to Sen. Chuck Schumer, shares with Comey the distinction of being fired by President Donald Trump after being told he’d be retained — Bharara in March, Comey in May. Bharara headed his own ongoing Russia investigation at the time — a money-laundering suit that was settled two months after Trump fired him and all other U.S. attorneys.
After Comey’s firing, Schumer linked the two men — along with former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, saying the three firings were part of a “deeply troubling pattern from the Trump administration.”
Now that the hearing is over, Bharara can head back to New York City, where he is now a scholar in residence at NYU’s law school. Comey, on the other hand, says he is “between opportunities.”
Randi F. Marshall
Meanwhile in New York ...
They were here to see the people there to see the Comey show, and it was a Comey crowd.
“Give ’em hell buddy,” the bartender at the popular Brooklyn brunch spot Building on Bond shouted as the former director approached the microphone Thursday.
“I hate Donald Trump,” said Dennis Villasana, 46, a lawyer who dropped by on his way to work for a Lagunitas and to see how Comey did.
The approximately 50 people in the bar, many of them journalists, were mostly quiet while listening to the senators’ prefacing. Some patrons cheered Comey from time to time, including when he characterized reporters camped outside his house as “seagulls.”
One for the road, barkeeper
The bars in Washington were packed and TV volumes were on high, but the drinks weren’t as free as expected. Bars in the Beltway, including Shaw’s Tavern, Union Pub and The Partisan, opened Thursday morning to host watch parties for the Senate testimony of former FBI Director James Comey.
While the bars offered Comey-inspired menus, many also offered free drinks for every time President Donald Trump tweeted. But as the two-and-a-half hour testimony passed, patrons were left wondering why the normally reactive Trump stayed silent on Twitter.
Union Pub said customers would receive a round on the house every time Trump tweeted. Unfortunately, that offer applied only to the most senior Trump. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted at length throughout the testimony, but no beers were to be had on his account.
Many assumed Trump would live-tweet the early part of the hearing before his speech at the Faith & Freedom Coalition. However, it seems Trump’s legal aides and confidants won the moment — no tweet was sent, and the president didn’t mention the hearing in his speech Thursday afternoon. It might have taken a hearing on potential obstruction of justice to force the president’s abstention.
As Twitter was left to folks on the left and right, some bars felt they needed to give something to their politicos. Everyone at Union Pub got a free beer anyway.