Attorney General William Barr and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly traded “jokes” last year about House Democrats’ recent vote to hold Barr in contempt of Congress.
Several top House Democrats demanded that Barr be arrested for contempt over his handling of ex-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in the Russia probe.
Now, roughly a year later, Pelosi is again entangled in calls from members of her own party to remove the attorney general.
During a virtual event hosted by the Washington Post, Pelosi rejected the possibility that House Democrats would impeach Barr after some Democrats alleged he took political considerations in handling cases related to President Donald Trump.
“A hundred and thirty-one days from now, we will have the solution to many problems, one of them being Barr,” Pelosi said, adding that she thinks Barr is a “disgrace to the Department of Justice.”
“At this point, let’s solve our problems by going to the polls and voting on Election Day, 131 days from now,” Pelosi said.
Speaker Pelosi rules out impeaching Attorney General Bill Barr: "Let's solve our problems by going to the polls." pic.twitter.com/CCYJu4mE4d
— The Recount (@therecount) June 25, 2020
Earlier this week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler suggested the House might impeach Barr.
“We’re looking into that, we may very well,” Nadler told reporters on Wednesday when he was asked about impeachment after a hearing where two DOJ prosecutors said Barr had politicized an investigation into Roger Stone.
He added, “I think the weight of the evidence and of what’s happened leads to that conclusion.”
During a recent interview on CNN, Nadler said he believes pursuing an impeachment inquiry against Barr would be a “waste of time” given Republicans still control the U.S. Senate.
Democratic Reps. Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Bill Pascrell of New Jersey have also called for Barr’s impeachment after a court ruled that former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s case could be dismissed.
A similar situation like this happened last year.
Last May, Barr and Pelosi traded jokes about House Democrats’ recent vote to hold Barr in contempt of Congress.
Barr approached Pelosi after the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on Capitol Hill and asked the Speaker if she brought handcuffs with her to the service.
A source who attended the event and witnessed the exchange said that Pelosi, “not missing a beat, smiled and indicated to the Attorney General that the House Sergeant at Arms was present at the ceremony should an arrest be necessary.”
Nadler’s House committee voted to hold Barr in contempt after he refused to turn over an unredacted copy of the Mueller report, its underlying evidence, and all grand-jury material.
So, House Democrats have been wanting to remove Barr from his position for quite some time.
Pelosi may be downplaying it in public, but several of her top colleagues in the House are still pushing for Barr’s removal and they likely won’t stop.