WILL HE SIGN IT, AND IF SO, WHEN?
by Sharon Rondeau
As Corsi reported on Tuesday, Trump is traveling to Phoenix on August 22 for rally. In Friday’s article, Corsi left open the possibility that Trump would not sign the pardon but speculated that executing it before his arrival in Phoenix would energize Trump’s political base.
In November Trump won the state of Arizona by less than four percentage points, although Arpaio endorsed him early in the presidential campaign.
Trump and Arpaio share June 14, Flag Day, as their birthday.
On July 31, Arpaio was found guilty by U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton of misdemeanor criminal contempt of court stemming from a finding by U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow of civil contempt in May of last year.
Both allegations arose from a lawsuit filed in late 2007 by a number of Hispanic plaintiffs who claimed that Arpaio’s immigration patrols unfairly targeted them as having allegedly been present in the county illegally.
Arpaio’s attorneys have argued that Snow and Bolton each showed obvious bias against Arpaio and that the U.S. Justice Department charged their client under an improper statute, as the appropriate law’s statute of limitations had expired. On August 14, the two law firms representing Arpaio petitioned the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, where both Bolton and Snow preside, for a new trial or, alternatively, for the contempt conviction to be vacated.
On Friday Corsi reported that in addition to the two motions submitted to the federal court on Arpaio’s behalf, assuming sentencing takes place as scheduled for October 5, Arpaio’s legal team plans to file an ethics complaint against Bolton.
Over his 24 years as Maricopa County Sheriff, Arpaio earned a reputation for aggressive enforcement of federal immigration law, conducting workplace raids to find perpetrators of identity theft, and, more recently, for his commissioning of an investigation into the long-form birth certificate image posted on the White House website in April 2011 declared the following year by investigators to be a “computer-generated forgery.”
Following two telephone interviews Corsi conducted with Arpaio after Bolton announced her ruling, Fox News’s Gregg Jarrett published an article reporting that Trump was “seriously considering” issuing a pardon to the 85-year-old former lawman self-described as “America’s toughest sheriff.”
As Corsi noted, Trump retweeted Jarrett’s article on Monday.
Last fall, Arpaio had sought a seventh term as Maricopa County Sheriff but lost to Democrat Paul Penzone, a retired Phoenix police sergeant. The Justice Department made its announcement that it would prosecute Arpaio several days before early voting began in Arizona.
In order for a pardon request to be considered, a petition must be submitted to the Office of the Pardon Attorney (OPA), which is part of the U.S. Justice Department. Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution gives the president the authority to “grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”