Barr jokes with Pelosi: 'Did you bring your handcuffs?'

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' House Democrats must insist that Robert Mueller testifies publicly Why Mueller may be fighting a public hearing on Capitol Hill MORE joked with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi uses Trump to her advantage Fake Pelosi video sparks fears for campaigns Trump goes scorched earth against impeachment talk MORE about Democrats' calls for his arrest, asking the California Democrat whether she brought handcuffs to an event on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

The exchange — which comes a week after the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt over subpoenas related to the Mueller report — took place as they were waiting for President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE, who was running roughly 45 minutes late, to arrive at the 38th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service.

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"As those seated on the platform waited for the president’s arrival in an adjacent tent, Attorney General Barr approached Speaker Pelosi, shook her hand and said loudly, 'Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?'" a bystander told The Hill.

"The Speaker, not missing a beat, smiled and indicated to the attorney general that the House sergeant-at-arms was present at the ceremony should an arrest be necessary. The attorney general chuckled and walked away," the bystander added.

The Justice Department declined to weigh in on the exchange.

House Democrats have been weighing potential repercussions for Trump administration officials who refuse to comply with subpoenas or their terms for testifying as part of Democratic-led investigations, with some members going as far as suggesting fines or incarceration.

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."