First lady Melania Trump joined in a chorus of Republican criticism of impeachment inquiry witness Stanford Law School Professor Pamela Karlan for a comment Karlan made about Barron Trump, President Donald Trump's son.
Melania Trump wrote on Twitter that Karlan "should be ashamed of [her] very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it."
Karlan had made a point earlier during the House Judiciary Committee's hearing about impeachment in response to a question from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, on how Trump as president was different from a king.
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.
- Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 4, 2019
Karlan said kings could do no wrong because their word was law. But Karlan said Trump was wrong to say that Article 2 of the Constitution allows him to do anything he wants.
"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," Karlan said to scattered laughter and applause in the hearing room.
The comment was met with immediate condemnation from Trump's presidential campaign, which questioned why 13-year-old Barron Trump was fair game, while Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, was off-limits.
"Democrats have no boundaries when it comes to their hatred of... @realDonaldTrump. Hunter Biden is supposedly off-limits... but a 13-year-old boy is fair game... Every Democrat in Congress should immediately... call on [Karlan] to personally apologize..."@TeamTrump statement⬇️ pic.twitter.com/rbIgnkbJRP
- Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) December 4, 2019
Stephanie Grisham, a White House spokeswoman, also criticized the comment in a tweet. "Classless move by a Democratic 'witness,'" Grisham said. "Prof Karlan uses a teenage boy who has nothing to do with this joke of a hearing (and deserves privacy) as a punchline. And what's worse, it's met by laughter in the hearing room. What is being done to this country is no laughing matter."
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., later read Melania Trump's tweet aloud and entered it into the congressional record of the hearing.
Karlan apologized later during the hearing.
"I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president's son, it was wrong of me to do that," she said, adding, she wished the president would also apologize for his actions before reiterating her regret.
Contributing: Bart Jansen
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Melania Trump criticizes impeachment witness for Barron Trump comment