Attorney General William Barr tried out a little contempt humor on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with interesting results.
The setting was the National Peace Officers Memorial Day service Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol. Barr and Pelosi were in the crowd waiting for President Donald Trump to arrive.
Barr approached Pelosi, shook her hand and said loud enough to be overheard, “Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?” That’s a reference to Barr’s refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
A smiling Pelosi let Barr know the House Sergeant at Arms was present at the ceremony, should any arrest be necessary, according to a person who witnessed the exchange and described it on the condition of anonymity. Barr chuckled and walked away, this person said.
The House Judiciary Committee voted last week to hold Barr in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted Russia report and underlying materials, as President Trump asserted executive privilege to protect those same files from release.
Pelosi recently joked during a Washington Post Live event that there is “a little jail down in the basement of the Capitol, but if we were arresting all of the people in the administration, we would have an overcrowded jail situation.”