Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a repulsive man who built his fame on intolerance and the mistreatment of prisoners.
Arpaio was the elected sheriff in Maricopa County Arizona (Phoenix) from 1993-2016. He is known for his “tent city“, extreme prison policies meant to embarrass inmates, and his harsh anti-immigration beliefs.
In July, Arpaio was convicted of violating a federal court order that mandated he stop targeting undocumented immigrants based on their appearance. In short, he was accused and convicted of racially profiling Hispanic people.
President Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio last Friday. This decision was met with an outpouring of criticism.
- Yes, the timing to announce this before Hurricane Harvey was weird.
- Yes, issuing a pardon this early in a presidential administration is not typical.
- Yes, Arpaio is a malicious and small-minded human.
- Yes, this calls into question Trump’s future intentions around law enforcement and the judiciary.
However, Trump has the legal right to pardon whoever he wishes as guaranteed by Article II of the Constitution (an executive branch check on the judicial branch that may be too powerful). There have been plenty of bad pardons by past presidents. This action does not call for Trump’s impeachment any more than his previous actions (think Russia, Comey, etc.).
Quit acting surprised when Trump does non-traditional, abnormal, or insensitive things. This has been Trump’s operating procedure since he announced his candidacy.