POLITICS

Joe Arpaio Insists He Hasn't Asked Donald Trump For Pardon

But the disgraced sheriff says if offered, he won't say no.

Former Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio is facing a six-month jail term for ignoring a court order to stop racial profiling, but he insists he hasn’t asked President Donald Trump to pardon him.

However, the former sheriff of Maricopa County said he won’t turn down the offer if it does come.

The 85-year-old Arpaio is scheduled to be sentenced in October, but Trump hinted a pardon might be coming at his rally this past Tuesday in Phoenix.

“I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine, OK?” Trump said. “But I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy.”

Arpaio told Inside Edition on Thursday there have been no discussions of the matter with the president.

“I never talked to him about the pardon ― I never asked him,” Arpaio said. “This is his decision. I will always support him, pardon or no pardon.”

Arpaio was defeated for reelection in November after serving as sheriff since 1993. His seven terms in office include allegations of racially profiling Latinos, mishandling sex-abuse investigationsmistreating prisoners and questioning former President Barack Obama’s birthplace.

In October, he was officially charged with criminal contempt for disobeying the terms of a 2011 court injunction that barred his officers from stopping and detaining motorists they suspected were in the country illegally.

He was convicted of the charges last month after U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that Arpaio “willfully violated” the order.

Some legal experts argue that a pardon of Arpaio insults the Constitution.

Civil rights attorney and HuffPost contributor Noah Baron argues pardoning Arpaio would send a message that racist law enforcement policy is not only acceptable, but that those responsible are can act free from consequences.

A pardon is “destructive” says HuffPost contributor Eliot Williams, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama administration, because it shows the Trump White House is “willing to ignore the law in order to continue to feed a racially-motivated political narrative.”

Arpaio, of course, disagrees, telling Inside Edition: “The people of this country wanted me to be pardoned.”  

HuffPost

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