Attorney General William BarrBill BarrAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Milley moved to limit Trump military strike abilities after Jan. 6, Woodward book claims: report Former US attorney enters race for governor in Pennsylvania MORE joked with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week Stefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' 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 TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE, who was running roughly 45 minutes late, to arrive at the 38th Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Service.
"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."