Attorney General William Barr poked fun at Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday at a Capitol Hill event, according to Fox News.
The AG reportedly approached Pelosi at a holding tent after the National Peace Officers Memorial Service and asked whether she had brought her handcuffs, making light of Democrats calls for Barr to be thrown in jail due to his lack of compliance with their demand for an unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
While some Congressional Democrats have been vocal about their desire to see Barr behind bars, Pelosi has been less so, and even pushed back when asked directly about jailing the attorney general.
“We do have a jail 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,” Pelosi said. “And I’m not for that.”
While Pelosi didn’t actually demand that Barr be arrested, as some of her colleagues have, she does make it clear she thinks he lied to Congress.
“He lied to Congress. And if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime,” Pelosi told reporters last month. “Nobody is above the law. Not the president of the United States. Not the attorney general.
When asked if Barr should go to jail Pelosi said this:
“There is a process involved here and as I said, I’ll say it again, the committee will have to come to how we will proceed,” Pelosi said.
“Speaker Pelosi’s baseless attack on the Attorney General is reckless, irresponsible and false,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in response.
Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., lead the charge, calling for the house to attempt to attribute him with “inherent contempt.” If that plan were enacted, Barr would be arrested by the sergeant at arms, something that hasn’t been done since the 1930s, and the idea is growing in popularity.
“We know how to arrest people around here,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told Politico according to Fox News. “And if we need to arrest someone, the [House] sergeant-at-arms will know how to do it. I’m not afraid of that.”
He added: “If they can arrest my constituents, we can arrest someone else who’s disobeying the law.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., also supported Congress’ “inherent authority,” which she said was “at our disposal.”
“We have a number of steps we’re looking at that we can take,” Jayapal told Politico. “People feel like we’re progressing at the appropriate pace.”