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

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz: Trump 'should pardon everyone' including himself to quash liberal 'bloodlust' Florida passes 850k coronavirus cases Florida GOP Rep. Mike Waltz tests positive for COVID-19 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 John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden 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 WarrenThomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks MORE (D-Mass.), $1,200 to former President Obama and $2,000 to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonValadao unseats Cox in election rematch Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College Federal workers stuck it out with Trump — now, we're ready to get back to work 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 GrishamTrumps to spend Thanksgiving at White House instead of traveling to Florida Melania Trump cancels campaign appearance over 'lingering cough' The Memo: Trump grapples with credibility gap in crisis MORE called the remarks "classless," and the Trump campaign put out a statement blasting the joke as "disgusting."