Gaetz clashes with Stanford professor: 'It makes you look mean'

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz, Greene and Gohmert turned away from jail to visit Jan. 6 defendants House GOP stages mask mandate protest House at war over Jan. 6 inquiry, mask mandate MORE (R-Fla.) clashed with law professor Pamela Karlan during Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing, pressing her on her past donations to Democratic candidates and excoriating her for invoking 13-year-old Barron Trump earlier in her testimony.

"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," Gaetz said. "It makes you look mean."

Karlan earlier in the hearing told lawmakers that the Constitution does not grant lawmakers the power to bestow nobility, quipping that Trump could name his son Barron but could not make him a baron.


Gaetz's line of questioning reflected a concerted effort by President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE's allies to paint Karlan and other Democratic witnesses as biased. The congressman seized on donations the professor made to Democratic candidates and highlighted her past comments that he portrayed as condescending to conservatives.

Karlan confirmed that she donated $1,000 to Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans Warren hits the airwaves for Newsom ahead of recall election Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE (D-Mass.), $1,200 to former President Obama and $2,000 to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote MORE, who ran against Trump in 2016.

The congressman then read a quote from Karlan in which she said, "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."

Karlan acknowledged making the comments but sought to explain that with proper context she was not speaking derisively about conservatives. As she attempted to elaborate, Gaetz raised his voice and cut her off.


"You don't get to interrupt me on this time," he said.

The testy exchange marked a relatively dramatic moment in what had otherwise been a hearing heavy on legalese and the merits of impeachment.

Trump allies have hammered Karlan over her comments about the president's son. White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamJill Biden appears on Vogue cover Kayleigh McEnany joins Fox News as co-host of 'Outnumbered' Melania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots MORE called the remarks "classless," and the Trump campaign put out a statement blasting the joke as "disgusting."