Last week when Nancy Pelosi was asked about what Congress would do and whether they would hold officials who refuse to comply in contempt, she said, “We do have a little jail down in the basement of the Capitol.”
The statement raised questions about whether there actually is a jail in the Capitol. No, there isn’t. There is a tomb in the basement of the Capital, proposed for George Washington’s remains, which may look like a jail cell, but it’s not. There is an Old Brick Capitol, which served as a prison in the 1860s and is now occupied by the Supreme Court.
“I think that some people are assuming, that because of those bars, that was a place where they `imprisoned people,’” said Katherine Scott, historian in the US Senate Historical Office. “That’s just not true.”
Offenders have been held in different Capitol rooms, but the last time the member of administration was detained, he was held in a hotel room overnight and transferred to the jail the next day, that was in 1934. “William P. MacCracken Jr., was a prisoner in a hotel room last night, held on charges of contempt of the Senate, after a day of legal merry-go-round probably unprecedented in court history,” media reported back then, noting that the first breakfast in the jail included “cold shoulder, cheese, fried pineapple, creamed potatoes, fruit, jello and coffee.”
If House Democrats votes to hold the Attorney General William Barr in contempt for refusing to comply with the request hand over the un-redacted version of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference into the 2016 presidential elections, he may be detained. However, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif. and a member of the Judiciary Committee said, “I don’t think we’re going to go that far.”
The Capitol Police do have a holding cell, but even if Barr or any other official is arrested, they will probably be put into a city jail.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website