27 August, 2017
United States President Donald Trump on Friday, August 25, pardoned controversial former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted last month of criminal contempt for illegally targeting Hispanic immigrants.
The White House noted Arpaio's time as a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent and his "selfless public service" connected with the Korean War. "He considered all the circumstances surrounding this case, including the fact that Sherriff Arpaio is 85 years old and had served in the military, the DEA and as a sheriff for five decades".
Trump in a statement said former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio protected "the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration". "He didn't something the base wasn't going to like...but on the same night, he pardons Joe Arpaio, which is something the base will like and embrace". This would have involved an FBI background investigation on Arpaio and could have taken months or even years.
"By pardoning Arpaio, Trump made it clear that institutional racism is not just OK with him".
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Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America", lost a bid for re-election in Arizona's Maricopa County in November after 24 years in office.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt) said Trump was misusing his power to pardon. "Instead of a dog whistle, President Trump picked up a bull horn and let out a hateful shout tonight when he pardoned someone who personifies the same bigotry and intolerance we witnessed in Charlottesville", Gupta said in a statement.
Arpaio was convicted of misdemeanor criminal contempt for not obeying a 2011 order from a judge to stop his anti-illegal immigrant traffic patrols. "Arpaio was not 'just doing his job.' He was violating the Constitution and discriminating against Latinos".
Sally Yates, who served as the attorney general until she was sacked by Trump, tweeted, "With his pardon pen, POTUS reveals his own contempt for our Constitution, our courts, and our founding principles of equality and justice". We're throwing them in jails, and we're throwing them out of the country. "But you know what, I'll make a prediction". Arpaio was scheduled to be sentenced on October 5. The inmates lived outdoors while enduring sweltering Arizona desert temperatures.