On Friday night the White House announced that President Trump had chosen to pardon the controversial former sheriff of Maricopa County. Trump had hinted during his Pheonix rally on Tuesday that he was in the midst of preparations to let the sheriff, who was an early supporter of Trump, go.
Arpaio had been convicted of criminal contempt after he disobeyed direct orders from a federal Judge, who insisted that Arpaio quit racially profiling those who he suspected of entering the United States illegally.
Arpaio gained his notoriety after backing President Trump’s “birther” campaign, in addition to his massive round of up suspected illegal immigrants. At the Maricopa County jail, Arpaio reinstated the rarely utilized chain gang, and banned the use of salt and pepper, in addition to coffee.
Despite the fact that Arpaio has blatantly racist tendencies the president still dubbed Arpaio an “American patriot,” who “kept Arizona safe.”
The White House’s statement read:
‘Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is a worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.’
The president even tweeted out the news, later that evening.
Many Democrats and civil rights groups were not impressed with Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio. They argued that while Trump may be well within his rights with this decision, the move was not justified.
Another familiar face had some input on Trump pardoning Arpaio. Sen. John McCain did not hold back what he felt about the pardon, arguing that it “undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law.”
His statement read:
‘No one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold. Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders.’
McCain wasn’t the only one to publicly criticize the president for his choices. Sen. Jeff Flake also had some choice words for the president, via Twitter.
The pair of GOP senators have become some of Trump’s most outspoken critics, especially after Trump, without naming names, attacked them during his Phoenix rally.
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