Trump ‘seriously’ thinking of pardon for convicted sheriff Arpaio

Criminal Justice

Joe Arpaio speaks during a rally for then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Feb. 22, 2016, in Las Vegas./Joseph Sohm (

President Donald Trump may pardon Joe Arpaio, the high-profile former Arizona sheriff convicted of criminal contempt in July after he ignored a judge’s order to stop detaining people he suspected were undocumented immigrants.

“I might do it right away, maybe early this week. I am seriously thinking about it,” Trump told Fox News on Sunday at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

According to the article, the president described Arpaio, 85, as a “great American patriot” who had “done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration.”

As part of a lawsuit, a U.S district court judge in 2011 enjoined Arpaio, then the sheriff of Maricopa County, from detaining people he thought were undocumented, who weren’t charged with any crimes, the Washington Post reports. Despite that warning he continued to do so, according to prosecutors, who in 2016 brought a criminal contempt case against him.

Jack Wilenchik, Apraio’s lawyer, claims that his client found the court order unclear, according to the article, and was simply detaining undocumented immigrants so they could be turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Arpaio, who spoke in favor of Trump at the Republican National Convention, has a sentencing hearing scheduled for Oct. 5. He faces up to six months in jail.

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