First Lady Melania Trump broke her silence on the Ukraine scandal Wednesday and blasted a prominent law professor for bringing up her teenage son during an impeachment hearing, saying the scholar “should be ashamed” of herself.
The first lady, who’s usually reluctant to comment publicly on anything, saw red after Stanford Law School Professor Pamela Karlan dragged 13-year-old Barron Trump into an analogy about the limits of executive power while testifying in the House Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing.
“A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics,” Melania Trump tweeted. “Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.”
Karlan, one of four legal experts appearing at the impeachment hearing, looped the Trump son into the sober proceedings while poking holes in the president’s dubious claim that Article II of the Constitution allows him unfettered power.
“Kings could do no wrong because the King’s word was law, but contrary to what President Trump says, Article II does not give him the power to do anything he wants,” Karlan said.
Unprompted, she continued, “I’ll give you on example … The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the president can name his son Barron, he cannot make him a baron.”
The remark elicited laughs from some audience members.
Trump’s Republican allies used the comments as ammunition to attack Karlan’s credibility.
“When you invoke the president’s son’s name here, when you try to make a little joke referencing Barron Trump, that does not lend credibility to your argument. That makes you look mean,” Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the president’s most vociferous congressional backers, said during the hearing.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham also pounced on Karlan’s wisecrack, ripping it as “classless.”
“Karlan uses a teenage boy who has nothing to do with this joke of a hearing (and deserves privacy) as a punchline,” Grisham tweeted. “And what’s worse, it’s met by laughter in the hearing room.”
Michael Caputo, a senior adviser on Trump’s 2016 campaign, said “a president’s children are traditionally off limits in Washington.”
“But then again, this young boy’s father is Donald Trump,” Caputo told the Daily News. “The Democrats will do anything and everything to get Trump … Anything goes.”
Wednesday’s hearing was mostly a high-brow, academic affair, in which the quartet of legal scholars offered their opinions on Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rivals before the 2020 election.
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