Arizona members of US Congress ask president not to pardon Arpaio
PHOENIX — A trio of Arizona Democratic members of the U.S. Congress have asked President Donald Trump not to issue a pardon to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
A fourth said Arpaio must be held accountable.
U.S. Reps. Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva and Tom O’Halleran sent a letter to Trump, urging him not to absolve the 85-year-old who was convicted of criminal contempt last month.
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema released a statement that read, “Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio hurt Arizonans and cost taxpayers a great amount of grief and money. He must be held accountable for his actions. No one is above the law.”
In a statement, Gallego said, “Arpaio shouldn’t be let off the hook for his crimes just to buy Donald Trump some bonus points with his most racist supporters.”
Fox News reported that the president said that he was “seriously considering” granting Arpaio a pardon.
A judge ruled that Arpaio had purposely ignored a federal court order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected undocumented immigrants.
Arpaio faces up to six months behind bars, although KTAR News 92.3 FM’s legal expert Monica Lindstrom and others believed it unlikely that he will spend any time in jail.
Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 5.
The possibility of a pardon has raised the tension level ahead of the president’s scheduled visit to Phoenix next week.
Grijalva added “It is a profound assault on our democracy for Donald Trump to grant, or even consider granting former Sheriff Arpaio a presidential pardon. For decades, communities across Maricopa County and Arizona were victimized by his racist practices. …”
O’Halleran, a former law enforcement officer said, “Joe Arpaio’s abuse and exploitation of his power to target vulnerable communities is beyond egregious and tarnishes the sworn duty of our brave officers across Arizona.”