At a Capitol Hill event honoring law enforcement officers, Attorney General William Barr taunted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, daring her to jail him, The New York Times reports.
“Madam Speaker,” Barr said, approaching Pelosi for a handshake. “Did you bring your handcuffs?” he asked.
Pelosi reportedly joked that she has a “little jail” she could use if necessary, adding that House sergeant-at-arms could detain Barr in one of the rooms in the Capitol’s basement. Pelosi was likely referring to the authority Congress has to arrest people, but this is not the first time for the House speaker to suggest jailing Trump officials.
“Let me just say that we do have a 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, and I’m not for that,” she said at a recent event, according to The Washington Post.
But as the publication notes, no jail or detention area has existed on the Capitol since 1877, when two Louisiana election officials were jailed in “a little room in the basement” of the campus. The Capitol Police has its own jail as well, but an employee anonymously told the Post that it can fit no more than two people.
It comes as no surprise that Pelosi and Barr are confronting each other even behind closed doors, given that House Democrats have accused the attorney general of acting like President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, instead of behaving like the country’s top lawyer.
As The New York Times notes, Pelosi recently accused Barr of lying to Congress — which is a federal crime — and Democratic lawmakers want to hold the attorney general in contempt for, they claim, deliberately misleading the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings.
It’s not every day in Washington that the attorney general dares the speaker of the House to lock him up.https://t.co/JeHqR6qfJQ
— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) May 15, 2019
Furthermore, the Democrats have also accused Barr of protecting Trump by defying a subpoena for the full Mueller report and underlying evidence. They have argued they need to see the full report in order to launch an obstruction of justice investigation.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, House Democrats have taken aim at Barr, promising to exert pressure on him by taking legal action.
Many in the public sphere have accused the attorney general of orchestrating a “cover-up.” Blasting Barr, famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein said that Trump has finally found his Roy Cohn — Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s top aide during investigations into supposed Communist activity in the United States.
Echoing comments from top Democrats, Bernstein said that Barr and Trump’s behavior is causing a full-blown constitutional crisis.