Attorney General Barr to House Speaker Pelosi: 'Did you bring your handcuffs?'

Rebecca Morin

Lock him up?

Attorney General William Barr reportedly joked Wednesday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., about being put in handcuffs on the sidelines of an event honoring slain law enforcement officers outside the Capitol.

“Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?" Barr quipped to Pelosi, according to the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Pelosi smiled and offered her own tongue-in-cheek response. The House sergeant-at-arms was in attendance, should an arrest be necessary, the top Democrat told the attorney general. Barr reportedly chuckled and walked away, according to the outlets.

More: Is there a Capitol jail where Democrats could lock up Trump aides who refuse to testify?

The exchange comes as tensions between House Democrats and the Trump administration continue to rise over multiple requests for documents, testimony from Barr and other current and past administration officials, and subpoenas issued by multiple congressional committees.  

Wednesday, the White House, in a 12-page letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., declined to hand over information requested by the panel as part of a wide-ranging investigation into President Donald Trump's presidency.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in the letter wrote that the administration would not cooperate with the committee's request, saying it "has no legitimate role" to investigate the president. In addition, the top White House lawyer said the request was overreach by politically motivated lawmakers.

More: White House says Congress has no 'legitimate role' in investigating Trump, rejects document demands

Recently, the Trump administration has repeatedly stonewalled multiple requests from lawmakers for various types of information.

The House Judiciary Committee last week voted to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress after Barr refused to comply with a subpoena that called for an unredacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report and its underlying evidence. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., however, told reporters Wednesday that a vote in the House to hold Barr in contempt will not happen this month.

More: Democrats could hold AG Barr in contempt of Congress. What is that and can it actually be used?

Last week, Speaker Pelosi joked that she would put administration officials that do not comply with subpoenas in a "jail down in the basement of the Capitol." According to the Architect of the Capitol, several rooms have been used at various times as detention cells. A room in the basement of the Capitol was used in 1877, according to the Congressional Record. The Capitol Police currently have a holding cell three blocks from the Capitol. 

“Let me just say that we do have a jail down in the basement of the Capitol,” Pelosi said recently during an interview at a Washington Post Live 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.”

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Attorney General Barr to House Speaker Pelosi: 'Did you bring your handcuffs?'