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A left-wing attorney who joked about Barron Trump at the first impeachment trial of his father, former President Donald Trump, will join President Joe Biden’s administration in the Department of Justice, the Washington Examiner reported.
What are the details?
Pamela Karlan was tapped as principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Division, the paper said, adding that she previously was a Stanford University law professor — and most recently was on Facebook’s Oversight Board.
Karlan said in a statement that working with the social media giant’s oversight board “to build a fairer and more effective approach to content moderation has been an honor,” Politico reported.
She went on leave from her Facebook Oversight Board position to volunteer for Biden’s transition team, Politico said, citing board spokesman John Taylor, adding that Karlan also wasn’t part of cases the group has already ruled on — or its new case concerning Trump’s suspension.
Politico characterized Karlan as a “renowned legal scholar with expertise in voting rights.” According to Campus Reform, the New York Times in 2019 described her as a “legal leader committed to progressive causes” and “a favorite of the left.” Karlan also confirmed that she donated $1,000 to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), $1,200 to former President Barack Obama, and $2,000 to Hillary Clinton, the Hill reported.
“Pam Karlan’s legal and civil rights expertise played an important part in shaping the Board, and we’re grateful for her contributions,” Taylor added, according to multiple outlets. “The Trustees and Board members congratulate Pam on her new role and wish her the very best.”
What did Karlan say about Barron Trump?
Karlan caught flak after joking about Barron Trump — who was only 13 at the time — during her 2019 testimony at Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial:
"So while [@realDonaldTrump] can name his son Barron, he can't make him a 'Baron.'"
Pamela Karlan targets Barron Trump for supposedly being named after a title of nobility. She was making a comparison between a king and Trump.
There are laughs and applause from the crowd. pic.twitter.com/r7jqvevU1P
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 4, 2019
“I’ll just give you one example that shows you the difference between [Donald Trump] and a king,” Karlan said on the microphone. “Which is, 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.”
And there was much laughter — literally.
What was the fallout?
Then-first lady Melania Trump called out Karlan on Twitter for her misstep: “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.”
So did then-Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany: “Only in the minds of crazed liberals is it funny to drag a 13-year-old child into the impeachment nonsense,” she said in a statement, according to the New York Post. “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.”
There was an apology — kinda
Karlan soon issued a mea culpa, the Examiner said, although it seemed a bit backhanded: “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.”
As you might guess, attacks on Barron Trump are nothing new for the left:
Shortly after Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory, Trump-hating celeb Rosie O’Donnell was criticized after tweeting, “Barron Trump Autistic? If so — what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic.” O’Donnell claimed it wasn’t a slight against Barron.
Amid the border crisis, actor Peter Fonda wrote in a since deleted 2018 tweet that “we should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles and see if mother will stand up against the giant a**hole she is married to.” Fonda later apologized.
Ohio Democrats in 2019 used the Special Olympics to mock Barron, with one saying he may “need” the organization one day.
Last year, Trump-hating actor Michael Rapaport said he wanted “little f***ing Barron” exposed to the coronavirus. (He got his wish months later.)
On Father’s Day 2020, Food Network host John Henson noted in a since-deleted tweet: “I hope Barron gets to spend today with whoever his dad is.” Mika Brzezinski appeared to suggest something similar during a 2019 episode of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”