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Word play draws pushback at impeachment hearing

Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan testifies during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

A witness in the House Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment inquiry hearing apologized Wednesday afternoon for comments she made during the hearing about President Donald Trump’s youngest son, Barron Trump.

Responding to a question from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Pamela Karlan, a Stanford Law professor, said, “the Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility. So while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.”

About three hours later, Karlan apologized for the remarks saying it was “wrong of [her] to do that.” However, the quip had already received condemnation across Washington.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who was already in a heated exchange with her at the time, yelled: “That does not lend credibility to your argument, it makes you look mean.”

In a tweet, first lady Melania Trump, Barron’s mother, said that Karlan should be “ashamed” and “a minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics.”