President Donald Trump’s former ethics chief, who resigned last month because of disagreements with the White House over ethics policies, blasted the president’s decision on Friday to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
“Vile!!” began Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, on a Twitter thread. “What POTUS says ‘exemplifies selfless public service’ is: dehumanizing inmates, racial profiling, and gleefully defying a court order.”
Shaub tweeted that the pardon was a “harbinger of worse to come.”
“This pardon also departs from procedural norms. And as an affirmative act by POTUS, it reveals an emboldening,” he tweeted.
Trump’s controversial move came late on a Friday night as the country was preparing for a deadly hurricane off the coast of Texas. Former Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio, who once proclaimed himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” was convicted last month of criminal contempt for violating a 2011 order that forbade the sheriff and his office from detaining individuals solely because of their legal status.
But Shaub was hardly alone in his outrage, as other current and former public officials also condemned Trump’s pardon.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton released a statement saying that the Arpaio’s tactics “terrorized Latino families because of their skin color.”
A number of members of Congress posted similar sentiments of disappointment on social media. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a Republican critic of the president, expressed his wish that Trump would “honor the judicial process and let it take its course.”