DECISION ON REQUEST TO VACATE NOT YET ANNOUNCED
by Sharon Rondeau
A hearing held Wednesday morning was to determine whether or not to vacate the underlying conviction. Last week, certain groups and members of Congress had filed unsolicited briefs with Bolton’s office, positing that Trump’s pardon of the six-term sheriff was “unconstitutional” and requesting that Bolton override it.
The Post’s Matt Zapatosky wrote that “Jack Wilenchik, an attorney for Arpaio, said U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton in Arizona rejected challenges to the pardon filed by outside groups and indicated that it was valid. Wilenchik said Bolton dismissed the case but did not immediately rule on a request to vacate all the orders in it, including Arpaio’s conviction.”
Both the Justice Department, which launched its prosecution of Arpaio one year ago, and Arpaio’s defense attorneys wrote in separate briefs filed with the court last month that they recommended “vacatur,” or the vacating of the conviction from Arpaio’s record in light of Trump’s August 25 pardon.
At a Republican fundraiser last Friday in Fresno, CA, Arpaio suggested he plans to seek further political office. He was also peppered with questions from a reporter for Valley Public Radio about his office’s five-year investigation of the “long-form” birth certificate image posted at whitehouse.gov purported to represent Barack Hussein Obama’s original birth record from Hawaii.
In his responses, Arpaio corrected the reporter to say that his office was the only law enforcement entity to launch a probe of the image which had been deemed a forgery by several well-credentialed computer and graphics experts.
On March 1, 2012, Arpaio’s lead investigator, Mike Zullo, announced at a press conference that the investigation had found probable cause to believe that the image is fraudulent. Two subsequent press conferences revealed more detail, and ultimately, corroboration from two well-known outside forensic analysts, of those findings.
The media has not shown curiosity regarding the conclusions, instead choosing to vilify the messengers in the person of Arpaio.
Arpaio has claimed that his prosecution by the Justice Department was a “witch hunt” conducted for reasons other than “racial profiling,” which was the basis for a civil suit from which Bolton’s conviction stemmed.