Trump pardons former sheriff for disobeying judge's order

After Hinting At It During Phoenix Rally, Trump Issues Pardon For Arpaio

Trump and the Maricopa County (Ariz.) sheriff are both nativists who co-founded the Birther movement, but it is Arpaio's lack of humanity that seems to appeal to the president, so he used him as an applause line during his dog whistle stop Tuesday night in Phoenix.

But Trump still found time to respond to news of the pardoning and offer praise for Arpaio.

Arpaio was an early supporter of Trump during his presidential campaign, but he himself lost reelection as sheriff last November.

Trump's action in pardoning Arpaio is unusual in that such actions typically come at the end of a presidential term. "He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration".

Arpaio, who campaigned for Trump in 2016, was convicted on July 31 by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, who ruled he had willfully violated a 2011 injunction barring his officers from stopping and detaining Latino motorists exclusively on suspicion that they were in the country illegally.

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"This is where liberals should picture, in place of Arpaio, someone pursuing a cause that liberals sympathize with vs a hostile judge", he said, pointing to two examples: Jefferson pardons for violators of the Alien & Sedition Acts, and Carter for Vietnam draft dodgers.

Arpaio's court fees have already cost Maricopa County taxpayers millions of dollars. Last July, Arpaio spoke at the Republican National Convention in support of Trump.

Trump's three predecessors - Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton - waited until at least their second years in office to grant pardons.

"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.

In the 1990s, at the start of his tenure, Arpaio opened Tent City jail, which housed inmates outdoors in the blistering Arizona sun. "Joe Arpaio intentionally terrorized immigrant communities across Arizona for decades and traumatized an entire generation of Arizonans", said Alejandra Gomez, co-executive director of Living United for Change in Arizona. "He should have served his time", said Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro.

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U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton ruled that Arpaio had willfully violated a court order in 2011 to halt his practices. But on Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would not say that Trump was willing to shut down the government, insisting only that "the President's committed to making sure this happens and we're going to push forward".

"It's Dr. Corsi writing the articles, and it's Matt Drudge picked him up, and the president saw it in Matt Drudge's Twitter feed, and then said, 'Is this true?"

That, they said, "should trouble every American who believes that our duty as a nation is to continue working on behalf of equal justice".

One former Obama administration official even referred to Trump with a Spanish curse word, which typically means "dumbass".

As news of Arpaio's pardon broke, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton criticized the move, calling it "not a proud day for Phoenix", and a "slap in the face to the people of Maricopa County, especially the Latino community and those he victimized as he systematically and illegally violated the civil rights".

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"Frankly, this saves everybody a lot of trouble and does what's right", Jack Wilenchik told CNN shortly after the pardon was issued.

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