Stanford Law School’s Pamela S. Karlan used President Donald J. Trump’s son Barron in a sarcastic comment about presidential power, and one Republican lawmaker took her to task for it.
During the impeachment inquiry hearing, Karlan was asked about Trump’s behavior and how the framers of the US Constitution intended to address presidential power.
Karlan pushed back on Trump’s assessment that Article II of the U.S. Constitution gives him the power to “do whatever I want.”
The Founding Fathers, Karlan said, did were interested in avoiding a monarchy, adding impeachment as a tool to hold leaders accountable.
“The Constitution doesn’t allow titles of nobility,” she said. “The president can name his son Barron, but he can’t make him a baron.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) took exception to the comment.
“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. It makes you look mean. It makes you look like you’re attacking someone’s family. The minor child of the president of the United States.”
Gaetz then nailed all the witnesses.
“So let’s see if we can get into the facts,” Gaetz said. “To all of the witnesses: If you have personal knowledge of a single material fact in the Schiff report— please raise your hand.”
Gaetz asked the record to reflect that no witnesses raised their hand in the affirmative.
Pamela S. Karlan: “The president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 4, 2019
Matt Gaetz: “When you try to make a little joke [about Barron], that does not lend credibility to your argument—so let’s see if we can get into the facts. To all the witnesses: if you have personal knowledge of a single material fact in the Schiff report—raise your hand.”
— Alana Mastrangelo (@ARmastrangelo) December 4, 2019
"To all of the witnesses: if you have personal knowledge of a single material fact in the Schiff report, please raise your hand."
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) December 4, 2019
Rep. Matt Gaetz called this remark “mean.” Does anyone believe this was a slight against Barron Trump rather than a play on a word? https://t.co/4xk3YOOY9b
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) December 4, 2019