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The historic weight of the Comey hearing is disrupting workdays across the country

Millions of people are expected to tune into former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning, The New York Times reports. "I wouldn’t be surprised if people took half-days or take the day off," said Ashley Saunders, the manager of the Union Pub, in Washington, D.C., which is handing out free rounds every time President Trump tweets during the hearing. "If I had a normal job, I don’t know what I’d be doing."

At the strategic communications firm Evergreen Partners, in New Jersey, all eyes will be on the TVs. "We canceled meetings when we saw what time it was on," the firm’s president, Karen J. Kessler, told the Times. "It’s must-see TV."

Some remain skeptical, including retired Navy officer Doug Samuels, who voted for Trump. "The thing with Comey is he wanted to make himself famous," he said. "I don’t think he’s going to have anything new to say."

But others are comparing the hearing to other explosive moments in U.S. history, including Justice Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation amid swirling sexual harassment allegations in 1991 and Lt. Col. Oliver L. North’s testimony at the Iran-contra hearings in 1987.

And, of course, to Watergate: "Comey proved what Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers carefully avoided admitting in their testimony on Wednesday — that the president had specifically attempted to shut off at least a major piece of what Trump calls the ‘Russia thing,’ the investigation into the misleading statements by fired national security adviser Michael Flynn concerning his role in dealings with the Russians," wrote Philip Allen Lacovara, who served as counsel to Watergate’s special prosecutors. "This kind of presidential intervention in a pending criminal investigation has not been seen, to my knowledge, since the days of Richard Nixon and Watergate."

The hearing begins at 10 a.m. ET and is expected to run until at least 1 p.m. Watch on any of the major news networks or online for free at C-Span and CNN. Jeva Lange