First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump, Macron clash at NATO summit White House rips media’s ‘annual holiday tradition’ of criticizing Melania Trump Ceremonies for National Christmas Tree, Capitol Christmas tree coming this week MORE in a rare tweet criticized a legal expert for mentioning her son, Barron, during testimony as part of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, tweeting that “a minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics.”
“Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it,” she tweeted Wednesday evening.
Karlan, a Stanford Law School professor and expert witness called by House Judiciary Committee Democrats, earlier Wednesday mentioned Barron’s name while criticizing President TrumpDonald John TrumpTop Democrat: ‘Obstruction of justice’ is ‘too clear not to include’ in impeachment probe Former US intel official says Trump would often push back in briefings Schiff says investigators seeking to identify who Giuliani spoke to on unlisted ‘-1’ number MORE’s conduct. Barron is the president’s youngest son and his only child with Melania Trump.
“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.
“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,” she continued.
Her remarks prompted a round of rebukes from figures close to the White House.
“Only in the minds of crazed liberals is it funny to drag a 13-year-old child into the impeachment nonsense,” Trump campaign national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
“Pamela Karlan thought she was being clever and going for laughs, but she instead reinforced for all Americans that Democrats have no boundaries when it comes to their hatred of everything related to President Trump,” McEnany continued.
White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamPhone records detail extent of Giuliani, White House contacts White House: Intel impeachment report ‘reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger’ House Intelligence report says Trump abused power MORE also called the move “classless.” Melania Trump’s tweet was sent when she and the president were traveling back to Washington from a NATO leaders’ meeting in London.
Karlan was one of three legal scholars called by Democrats who testified Wednesday that they believed President Trump committed impeachable offenses. Republican witness, legal expert and The Hill contributor Jonathan Turley cautioned the House against moving forward with impeaching the president.
Later in Wednesday’s hearing, Karlan apologized for her remarks about Barron.
“I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son. It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the president would apologize obviously for the things that he’s done that’s wrong. But I do regret having said that,” she said.
The hearing, which was marked by partisan disagreements over President Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine, was the start of the House Judiciary Committee’s process of considering potential articles of impeachment against the president.
A House Intelligence Committee report issued Tuesday accused Trump of soliciting foreign interference from Ukraine in the 2020 election and placing “his personal political interests above the national interests of the United States.”
Trump has argued he did nothing wrong in his July 25 conversation at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, during which he asked Ukraine’s president to investigate a debunked theory about Ukraine’s involvement in the 2016 Democratic National Committee hack as well as the involvement of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTop Democrat: ‘Obstruction of justice’ is ‘too clear not to include’ in impeachment probe Yang campaign contacts FBI over death threats in New Hampshire Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases MORE and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine.
Trump and his allies have accused House Democrats of a partisan and unfair effort designed to wound him ahead of 2020.
—Updated at 6:02 p.m.