The House has struggled for ways to perform its Constitutional duty of overseeing the Executive Branch of government. Following the laws has proven itself to be difficult when trying to hold a lawless White House accountable.
Last week, Attorney General William Barr blew off a subpoena to appear before one of the House committees. Pelosi half-joked that there was, according to The Washington Post:
‘A JAIL DOWN IN THE BASEMENT OF THE CAPITOL.’
As people around them laughed, she continued:
‘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.’
Unfortunately, the jail is just a single room, according to CNN, and it would not nearly hold all the former and current White House administration employees who ignored their subpoenas. That is if Donald Trump had his way. There would simply be too many of them, even if they stood up shoulder-to-shoulder 24/7.
The top law enforcement officer of the country did not appear to be concerned with breaking the law and completely disrespecting the House as he approached Speaker Pelosi on the West Front lawn of the Capitol.
Pelosi was attending an event honoring law enforcement officers killed in action when the top law enforcement officer in the country, Attorney General William Barr, walked up to her. He shook her hand, and then commented loudly and possibly lewdly:
‘MADAM SPEAKER, DID YOU BRING YOUR HANDCUFFS?’
Pelosi gave him one of her best smiles and said the House sergeant-at-arms was on site if she felt that arresting anyone was necessary. A person who overheard their exchange said:
‘(BARR) CHUCKLED AND WALKED AWAY.’
The dueling politicians have been facing escalating tensions ever since Trump interfered in Special Counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigation. Mueller investigated Russia’s internet attack on the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and beyond.
The president has also resisted the House’s request for documents about his financial records and his family separation policy. House Democrats have accused POTUS of stonewalling.
The House Judiciary Committee voted last week to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress. He missed the Democrat’s deadline to provide them with the full, unredacted special counsel report into the Russian attack and possible obstruction of justice by Trump and his administration.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) noted that the House will probably vote on a citation regarding Barr withholding the original Mueller report next month. Should the chamber receive enough votes, it will be faced with imposing fines or jail time on Barr.