“Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?”
Attorney General William Barr approached House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and mockingly asked if she brought “handcuffs” for him during a Wednesday event at the Capitol, according to multiple reporters in attendance.
Barr approached Pelosi after the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, shook her hand and asked, “Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?” Pelosi reportedly smiled before replying that the House Sergeant at Arms was present, in case an arrest needed to be made.
Barr is said to have laughed and then walked away.
This isn’t the first time Pelosi has joked about jailing Trump-appointed officials. After Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to comply with a Democratic subpoena to hand over Trump’s tax returns to Congress, Pelosi quipped that there was a jail cell ready for him and other Trump allies in the Capitol building.
“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.”
Barr and Pelosi have clashed at times since Barr released a four-page summary of the Mueller report’s findings to Congress last month. Barr said in the summary that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team found no evidence that President Donald Trump campaign’s colluded with Russia. He did not, however, make a final determination on whether the president obstructed justice.
In May, Barr criticized Mueller’s refusal to say whether Trump committed obstruction of justice and found that the evidence was “not sufficient” to establish an obstruction violation by the president.
In response, Democrats have alleged the attorney general is being overly deferential to the president. Pelosi has gone even further. Earlier this month, she accused Barr of committing a “crime” by lying to Congress during a House Appropriations Committee hearing in April.