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. 

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.” 

Also on HuffPost

U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference January 29, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi answers questions during the 'SiriusXM Leading Ladies' series hosted by SiriusXM host/veteran White House correspondent Julie Mason at The Newseum on March 4, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi answers questions during the 'SiriusXM Leading Ladies' series hosted by SiriusXM host/veteran White House correspondent Julie Mason at The Newseum on March 4, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) answers questions during her weekly press conference January 9, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
House Democratic leaders (L-R) House Budget Committee ranking member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) talk to reporters after meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House October 15, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a press conference October 3, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Congressional Democrats and Republicans remain gridlocked on funding appropriations for the federal government as the shutdown enters its third day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) speak to the media with after a meeting at the White House with U.S. President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about the government shutdown on October 2, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to members of the press during a news conference September 12, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference September 27, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (R) speaks to the media with Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) after a meeting with President Barack Obama on Capitol Hill, July 31, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to the media at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, July 11, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks to the media during her weekly news conference, on January 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi visits 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' at Rockefeller Center on August 17, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly news conference in the Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol July 26, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) answers questions during her weekly news conference July 19, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.