News

Law & the Courts

Barr to Pelosi: ‘Did You Bring Your Handcuffs?’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks behind President Trump and Attorney General William Barr at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service on Capitol Hill May 15, 2019. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Attorney General Bill Barr reportedly made a sardonic quip Wednesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referencing his differences with House Democrats, asking her if she had “brought her handcuffs.”

“Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?” Barr asked Pelosi at the 38th annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service Wednesday morning.

Several rank-and-file Democratic lawmakers have called for the attorney general to be arrested since his congressional testimony in April.

Barr was asked during an April Appropriations Committee hearing whether he knew what news reports were referring to that claimed members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team were dissatisfied with his four-page summary of Mueller’s final report. Barr said that he was not, an answer seemingly contradicted by subsequent reports that he’d previously received a letter from Mueller and spoken with the special counsel over the telephone about investigators’ concerns with the summary.

The House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress on May 8.

Pelosi has not directly entertained the notion of arresting Barr, but did imply the attorney general had committed the crime of falsifying his testimony to Congress.

“He lied to Congress. And if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime,” the speaker said last month. “Nobody is above the law. Not the president of the United States. Not the attorney general.

“We do have a jail 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,” Pelosi said last week when asked about the possibility of a criminal prosecution for Barr. “And I’m not for that.”

“There is a process involved here and as I said, I’ll say it again, the committee will have to come to how we will proceed,” she said.

Most Popular

Culture

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More