comScore Carrie Cordero on Rick Santorum's Impeachment Spin: 'Insane'

CNN Legal Analyst Slams Rick Santorum for ‘Insane’ Impeachment Argument

During a contentious exchange about President Donald Trump’s conduct, CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero called out as “insane” former Republican Senator and Trump defender Rick Santorum’s claim that the president’s aides effectively ignored his improper directives to pursue a quid pro quo with Ukraine, so there’s no basis for impeachment.

On CNN’s post-impeachment panel, Santorum reprised a Republican defense against the obstruction allegations from the Special Counsel investigation: that Trump shouldn’t be held accountable because his own staffer never carried out his improper, inappropriate orders.

“Here’s my point. I’d like to compare this to the obstruction case against the president on the Mueller report,” Santorum said, analogizing the president to someone whose commands should not be taken literally. “What you had is a bunch of adults around there, and you had the president spouting off, saying, ‘I wish we should go after this guy, we we should go after this guy.’ But they never did. Why? Because he has adults in the room, who put up with his wild ideas and then they do the right thing. That’s exactly what happened here.”

“But that’s not what happened here!” former Obama White House aide Jen Psaki pointed out. “No, what happened here, they all followed the president’s direction was to hold out their aid in an exchange for announcing an investigation and [the Ukrainians] were two days away from doing it and they didn’t do it because they were caught.”

Santorum later repeated his bizarre logic for dismissing Trump’s alleged misconduct while also implying he was unaware of what was going on with Ukraine foreign policy.

“Everybody that he’s employed at the State Department and at NSA are all pushing Ukraine on corruption. So the answer is: yes. And you can say the president personally doesn’t know. Look at the president’s speeches, he’s doesn’t talk about half this stuff. This administration does lots of things. He doesn’t talk about anything. He talks about you, the media. He doesn’t talk about policy!”

“Wait. This argument is insane. You cannot argue that the President of the United States’ words do not matter or that he’s just spouting off,” Cordero fired back.

“Didn’t say they don’t matter,” Santorum interrupted. “Actions matter too.”

“They held up the aid,” Cordero pointed out. “Jennifer Williams testified this morning they had absolutely no idea, everybody was confounded of why the aid was held up. OMB said it was from the White House Chief of Staff, which is Mick Mulvaney, who won’t come and testify. The president’s words matter. It cannot be that, one hand we’re supposed to take him seriously as the commander-in-chief, and the person who’s running the government and on the other hand, his defenders say: ‘It doesn’t matter what he says, ignore all that other crazy.’ It doesn’t make any sense.”

“The reality is we ignore 80 to 90 percent of what the president says,” Santorum said.

“Then he should resign! He shouldn’t be in office!” Cordero shot back.

Watch the video above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under: