Florida Republican Matt Gaetz scorched Democrat impeachment witness Pamala Karlan Wednesday after she dragged President Trump’s 13-year-old son Barron into the impeachment debate.
While Gaetz was making a point about her past biased statements, Karlan interjected to slam Trump, prompting an angry reply from Gaetz.
“You don’t get to interrupt me on this time!” he exclaimed.
“Now let me also suggest that when you invoke the president’s son’s name here. When you try to make a little joke out of referencing Barron Trump. That does not lend credibility to your argument,” Rep. Gaetz told the Stanford law professor during Wednesday’s House Judiciary impeachment hearing. “It makes you look mean. It makes it look like you’re attacking someone’s family, the minor child of the president of the United States.”
Earlier in the day, Karlan had mocked the First Son’s name to make the obvious point that the Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility. “ So while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,” she said.
First Lady Melania Trump made a rare foray into the political debate Wednesday afternoon to chastise the professor on Twitter:
“A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics,” Trump said. “Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.”
A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 4, 2019
Gaetz also too the opportunity to point out that Karlan has donated money to Trump’s opponents, including to 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a top contender for the Democratic nomination.
“You gave 1,000 bucks to Elizabeth Warren, right?” Gaetz asked.
“I believe so,” Karlan said.
“You gave 1,200 bucks to Barrack Obama?” Gaetz said, with Karlan responding that she had “no reason to question that.”
“And you gave 2,000 bucks to Hillary Clinton?” Gaetz said.
“That’s correct,” she said.
“Why so much more for Hillary than the other two?” Gaetz asked.
Karlan responded that it was because she has “been giving a lot of money to charity recently because of all the poor people in the United States.”
“Well those aren’t the only folks you’ve been giving to,” the congressman said. “Now, have you ever been on a podcast called Versus Trump?”
Karlan answered that she thought she had made an appearance on a panel that was podcast live by people who called themselves “Versus Trump.”
“On that do you remember saying the following?” Gaetz asked. “‘Liberals tend to cluster more. Conservatives, especially very conservative people, tend to spread out more, perhaps because they don’t even want to be around themselves.’ Did you say that?”
“Yes, I did,” Karlan said.
Gaetz asked if she understood “how that reflects contempt” upon people who consider themselves conservative.
“No, what I was talking about there was the natural tendency — if you put the quote in context — the natural tendency of a compactness requirement to favor a party whose voters are more spread out. And I do not have contempt for conservatives,” the professor answered unconvincingly.
Cutting to the chase, Gaetz asked all of the witnesses if they had “personal knowledge of a single material fact in the Schiff report, please raise your hand.” All four witnesses sat silently and didn’t budge.
“And let the record reflect—no personal knowledge of a single fact,” Gaetz concluded.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Karlan apologized for bringing up Barron Trump’s name during the impeachment hearing, but couldn’t resist taking one last shot at the president while doing so.
“I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son. It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the president would apologize obviously for some of the things he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that,” she said.
— Roll Call (@rollcall) December 4, 2019