March 22 2018

White House pardons former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio

March 22 2018, 03:53 | Van Peters

White House pardons former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio

White House pardons former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio

Arpaio said his lawyer was sent a copy of the pardon on Friday afternoon and he has scheduled a press conference to discuss what he said were new details in the case.

Trump has been hinting at a pardon for Arpaio for weeks, most recently at a campaign-style rally in Arizona on Tuesday.

"It is hard to imagine anyone less worthy of a pardon or of mercy of any kind than Joe Arpaio", Janet Murguía, president and CEO of UnidosUS, one of the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights groups, said in a statement Friday.

Arpaio admitted to inadvertently disobeying the court order but said his behavior did not meet a criminal standard.

Arpaio was convicted in July and has yet to be sentenced.

He had been charged with misdemeanor contempt of court for allegedly willfully defying a judge's order in 2011 and prolonging his patrols for another 17 months.

Arpaio also called out for donations to his legal defense fund. The ACLU ultimately prevailed in that suit; in 2013, the same judge found Arpaio's policy systematically violated the rights of Latinos.

Arpaio's sentencing is scheduled for October 5. I think he's going to be just fine. OK?

Even Arizona GOP Sen. We're throwing them in jails, and we're throwing them out of the country. "Donald Trump can ignore the rule of law, but it was our voters who removed Joe Arpaio from power".

Trump has in turn praised Arpaio for his extreme immigration stance and tactics, which included the jailing of illegal immigrants in tent cities, the reduction of meal costs to 20 cents per day, and chain gangs for women inmates. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said Trump's pardon of Arpaio was nothing less than a "slap in the face".

Alejandra Gomez, co-executive director of Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), said: "President Trump pardoned a terrorist tonight". Is that OK? All right?

Trump's pardon comes as the president has been widely criticized for his response to the deadly racist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, after he blamed both the white supremacist protesters and counter-demonstrators for the violence.

"Thank you @realdonaldtrump for seeing my conviction for what it is: a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department!", he posted.

Trump appears poised to throw all precedent and procedure out the window.

In a statement released shortly after the White House's move to issue the pardon, a spokesperson from the Department of Justice said that Trump "exercised his lawful authority and we respect his decision".

They include Arpaio's 50 years of service to his country and county - in the military and Drug Enforcement Administration and finally as sheriff.

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