ARIZONA NEWS

Arpaio claims Justice Department meddled in 2016 campaign for sheriff

Jun 21, 2018, 3:35 PM | Updated: 9:12 pm
Former Maricopa County Sheriff and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Arpaio speaks at his office, Wednesday...

Former Maricopa County Sheriff and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Arpaio speaks at his office, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Arpaio, who was spared a possible jail sentence when President Donald Trump pardoned him for disobeying a judge, announced Tuesday, Jan. 9, that he would run for the Senate seat being vacated by fellow Republican Jeff Flake. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Former Maricopa County Sheriff and congressional candidate Joe Arpaio is asking the U.S. Justice Department to look into his claim that the agency meddled in his unsuccessful 2016 campaign for sheriff.

Arpaio claimed the Justice Department tried to sway voters against him by pushing a criminal contempt of court case against Arpaio just weeks before the election.

In asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the investigation, Arpaio’s lawyer Mark Goldman made parallels between the Justice Department’s actions in Arpaio’s case and its conduct in the investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential race and whether then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign was involved.

Goldman cited an anti-Trump text message made by an FBI agent who was once part of the team conducting the Russia investigation.

“Given that these high-ranking FBI officials had no qualms about discussing methods of overthrowing the future president, it is more than reasonable to believe that the there was a concerted effort to steer and influence the election of Sheriff Arpaio,” Goldman wrote in a June 1 letter to Sessions.

The Justice Department didn’t respond to a phone call and email from The Associated Press seeking comment on Arpaio’s investigation request and the claim that the agency tried to turn voters against Arpaio.

In 2017, Arpaio was convicted of misdemeanor contempt when he continued his immigration sweeps for 17 months after a judge ordered him to stop.

His sentencing was scheduled for later that year and he could have faced up to six months in jail.

President Donald Trump pardoned him a month after the conviction was handed down, making him an innocent man.

While Arpaio has acknowledged disobeying the judge’s order, he said he was treated unfairly when Justice Department lawyers appeared in court a few weeks before election day to say they would prosecute Arpaio.

Arpaio blames the Justice Department, but the criminal charge against him was filed by a judge, not by prosecutors from the federal agency.

In an interview Wednesday, Arpaio insisted he wasn’t opportunistically using a Trump strategy by attacking the Department of Justice’s conduct.

“I am not jumping on a bandwagon,” Arpaio said.

“America’s Toughest Sheriff” was voted out of office in 2016. He was replaced by Sheriff Paul Penzone.

Arpaio is currently running for U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Stacey Abrams (AP file photo/Steve Helber)...
KTAR.com

Stacey Abrams’ group wipes out medical debts for thousands in Arizona, 4 other states

A political organization led by prominent Democrat Stacey Abrams donated $1.34 million to wipe out medical debts for thousands in Arizona and four other states.
20 hours ago
Christian Solorio (Alhambra Elementary School District photo)...
KTAR.com

Board of Supervisors appoints Christian Solorio to vacant Arizona House seat

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday appointed Christian Solorio to fill the Arizona House seat vacated by fellow Democrat Raquel Teran.
20 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/ADOT)...
KTAR.com

Westbound Interstate 10 reopens in Chandler following crash

A crash closed westbound Interstate 10 in Chandler for about an hour on Wednesday afternoon during rush hour.
20 hours ago
(Photo by Gene Lower/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona Cardinals game to jam freeways Thursday evening for commuters

The Arizona Cardinals host the Green Bay Packers in the weekly Thursday night NFL game, an event that will jam metro Phoenix freeways during rush hour.
20 hours ago
(Tempe Police Department Photo/Facebook)...
KTAR.com

Teenage boy, 2-year-old killed in wrong-way crash on Tempe street

A teenage boy and a 2-year-old girl were killed in a wrong-way crash on a Tempe street earlier this week, authorities said.
20 hours ago
Adam Scott Delk (Glendale Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Glendale police make arrest in suspected road rage shooting

Police have arrested a suspect in one of a recent spate of suspected road rage shootings in the West Valley.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
...
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
...
Albertsons

Grill like a pro this fall with tips from Albertsons

As the weather cools and football season kicks off, it’s a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy your favorite outdoor meals.
Arpaio claims Justice Department meddled in 2016 campaign for sheriff