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

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz in Twitter battle with Florida House Republican Apple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones Conservatives slam Warren's call to put transgender women in women's prisons 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 TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense 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 Ann WarrenWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' On The Money: Stocks close with steep losses driven by coronavirus fears | Tax season could bring more refund confusion | Trump's new wins for farmers may not undo trade damage Overnight Energy: Sanders scores highest on green group's voter guide | Trump's latest wins for farmers may not undo trade damage | Amazon employees defy company to speak on climate change MORE (D-Mass.), $1,200 to former President Obama and $2,000 to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — NFL social media accounts hacked | Dem questions border chief over controversial Facebook group | Clinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views Clinton on Sanders comments: 'I wasn't thinking about the election' 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 GrishamSupreme Court allows Trump administration to move forward with 'public charge' rule Trump legal team begins second day of arguments under Bolton furor White House spokesperson: Media's 'obsession' with impeachment 'won't let up' MORE called the remarks "classless," and the Trump campaign put out a statement blasting the joke as "disgusting."