Donald Trump Weighs Pardon for Ex-Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Ross D. Franklin  AP

But the president's attempts at being more professional on the social media platform were set on fire on August 15 by two ill-advised retweets that put into question all of the motives behind Trump's silence on Charlottesville, VA.

This not a terribly surprising turnabout, given the President's past statements.

Trump seems to have been trying to draw attention to a Fox & Friends article on a possible presidential pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona, who was convicted of a crime for ignoring a us court order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. He does not deserve a pardon, let alone the first one that Trump issues as President. That latter point is debatable. He will not be paraded before onlookers, forced to wear pink underwear or live inside a tent in triple-digit heat.

Federal prosecutors countered that Arpaio defied the order purposely, believing he could get away with it. Arpaio is known for his own controversial immigration policy after his campaign to round up undocumented illegal immigrants in 2005.

Arpaio, 85, is a former Maricopa County sheriff famed for his brutal treatment of inmates and intentional "round-ups" of immigrants over several years, including using traffic stops.

Mr Trump on Tuesday called her death a "horrible, frightful thing", but refused to label it an act of terrorism.

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"Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration then Sheriff Joe?" asked Trump rhetorically.

Activist Lydia Guzman said that if Trump pardons Arpaio, it will be a slap in the face to the Valley's Hispanic community and our entire judicial system. Arpaio continued his practices anyway, for 18 months more. The civil contempt-of-court proceedings arose after Arpaio and his top deputies repeatedly ignored the court's orders.

CNN described the case as a "racial profiling case" that involved "continuing patrols targeting immigrants" and says "Arpaio has contended the order wasn't clear and he didn't intend to violate it".

'I am happy he understands the case, ' the former sheriff said.

For Arpaio's critics - who watched him stall federal agents, destroy records and duck investigations alleging misuse of jail funds and retaliation against political enemies - his ultimate conviction and re-election loss in November was cold comfort, but comfort nonetheless. Chelsea Manning was a notorious example from the closing days of Obama's presidency; Bill Clinton's Marc Rich pardon remains notorious almost 20 years later. And there is this: Under DOJ regulations, a presidential pardon can not be issued until five years after a criminal conviction. "He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration".

Reportedly, Trump will decide whether or not to pardon Arpaio in the next few days.

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