Attorney General William Barr asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) if she brought “handcuffs” for him Wednesday at the Capitol, following her accusing him of lying to Congress earlier this month.
According to multiple reporters, Barr approached Pelosi following the National Peace Officers Memorial Service in Washington, shook her hand, and asked, “Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?” Pelosi smiled and said the House Sergeant at Arms was present if an arrest was necessary, to which Barr laughed and walked away.
Some congressional Democrats have called for Barr to be jailed after the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold him in contempt when he ignored a subpoena for the unredacted Russia report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Pelosi joked about the Capitol jail last week when asked whether Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin should be arrested for failing to hand over President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
“Let me just say that we do have a jail down in the basement of the Capitol,” Pelosi said. “But if we were arresting all of the people in the administration, we would have an overcrowded jail situation, and I’m not for that.”
She stopped short of calling for Barr’s jailing when she accused him of a crime, saying “there’s a process involved here.”
Barr, a proponent of executive power, has become the Democrats’ top enemy in the Trump administration in the months following the conclusion of the Mueller investigation, with accusations that he whitewashed its conclusions to Trump’s benefit. Barr also skipped a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller report a day after testifying in front of the Senate.