Trump might not be able to pardon himself or his children, but he’s looking into pardoning former sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently found guilty of criminal contempt. Arpaio, like Trump, believes in a hard stance on illegal immigration, and as sheriff of Maricopa County, he built a reputation on racial profiling, illegal searches, and humiliating inmates. He was recently convicted of because he defied a judge who ordered him to stop traffic patrols that unfairly targeted Arizona’s Latinx community. Trump spoke about Arpaio on Sunday from his Bedford, New Jersey working vacation:
“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio. He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him.”
This would be Trump’s first presidential pardon, and he stands in contrast to Obama’s pardons for nonviolent offenders as his second term came to a close. Trump was campaigning at the time and was critical of Obama’s clemency initiative. “Some of these people are bad dudes,” Trump told his supporters. “These are people out walking the streets. Sleep tight, folks.” That is similar rhetoric to how Trump described the same immigrants Arpaio has targeted, calling Mexicans “bad hombres” and “rapists.”
Trump has praised Arpaio in the past, saying “Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe? He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.” The president said of the pardon itself, “I might do it right away, maybe early this week. I am seriously thinking about it.” Arpaio should be sentenced October 5th and expects only six months in jail. It’s not clear if he will actually fulfill his whole sentence, even without Trump’s intervention.
(Via Fox News)