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

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrImmigration advocacy groups sue Trump administration over asylum restrictions Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller Groups sue Trump admin over new asylum restrictions MORE joked with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Will Trump's racist tweets backfire? Al Green: 'We have the opportunity to punish' Trump with impeachment vote 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 TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist 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."