Barr jokes about contempt to Pelosi's face: ‘Did you bring your handcuffs?’

Attorney General William Barr reportedly made light of his escalating dispute with Congress during an encounter with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?” he cracked as the two crossed paths at an event honoring law enforcement on Wednesday, according to multiple reports including one in the New York Times. 

Pelosi reportedly replied by noting that the House sergeant-at-arms was at the event should anyone need to be arrested. 

The Times said Pelosi smiled and Barr chuckled during the encounter, but the administration’s dispute with Congress has not exactly yielded many laughs thus far.

The House Judiciary Committee voted last week to hold Barr in contempt of Congress over subpoenas related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. 

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Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Mueller report
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Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Mueller report
Attorney General William Barr is photographed as he sits down to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Attorney General William Barr, right, is sworn in by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, as he faces lawmakers' questions for the first time since releasing special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Attorney General William Barr is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Attorney General William Barr is sworn in to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Attorney General William Barr testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller report. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Attorney General William Barr testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller report. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Russia report by special counsel Robert Mueller on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Attorney General William Barr testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Attorney General William Barr testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Attorney General William Barr testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, on the Mueller Report. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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Barr’s crack was a reference to some lawmakers calling for the arrest of members of the administration who refuse to comply with subpoenas. 

We know how to arrest people around here. And if we need to arrest someone, the [House] sergeant-at-arms will know how to do it,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told Politico. “If they can arrest my constituents, we can arrest someone else who’s disobeying the law.”

Pelosi herself has accused Barr of committing a crime, saying he lied to Congress about the Mueller investigation. 

“What is deadly serious about it is the attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi said earlier this month. “That’s a crime.”

But she has also used the threat of jail as a punchline. 

Let me just say that we do have a jail down in the basement of the Capitol,” she said last week at a Washington Post event. “But if we were arresting all of the people in the administration, we would have an overcrowded jail situation, and I’m not for that.” 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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