Our "Political Insiders" say President Donald Trump was wrong to pardon controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Trump issued the pardon to Arpaio after he was convicted of criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a judge's order to stop using-racial profiling to target Hispanics.
US District Judge Susan Bolton, who was appointed to the bench by Bill Clinton, found Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt in July for disregarding a court order in a racial-profiling case.
Arpaio was a vocal supporter of Trump during the presidential campaign.
Our "Political Insiders" said Trump was in the wrong when he issued the pardon to Arpaio.
- 57% of the Republicans who responded to our survey said Trump should not have pardoned Arpaio. 43% said they agreed with Trump's decision.
- Not surprisingly, 95% of Democrats disagreed with Trump's pardon.
- 85% of our readers also thought Trump was in the wrong to pardon Arpaio.
Selected anonymous comments:
With so much noise these days my litmus test is "what have other president's done?" Most presidents pardon at the end of their term, so there are no political advantages/disadvantages to doing so. The exceptions are either when there is enough doubt that the person was guilty that they had already spent a large amount of time in jail, or they had turned their life around in prison and the decades they had already spent in jail was deemed sufficient. I don't think a President had ever pardoned someone before they were even sentenced, and if there were jail time would have been minimal. Nor has a president pardoned someone who was guilty of obstruction of justice because they continually ignored court orders to cease illegal activity (that cost their state tens of thousands of dollars).
Did the justice department recommend this? He was convicted of crimes. What a waste of money for Trump to overturn that. It's a slap in the face to the justice department employees and the tax money paid to pursue the conviction. Was he wrongfully accused? No. Trump is blatantly doing a favor to one of his earliest supporters who was trying to prove that Obama was not a U.S. Citizen.
Arpaio is your basic criminal masquerading as a law enforcement officer.
Actions speak louder than words. Trump granting this pardon says to all the world that He believes it's okay for an officer of the law to treat human beings like animals and not be held accountable. A new low.
I think this is great, unlike Obama who pardoned drug dealers, terrorists and people like Chelsea Manning. Trump is protecting our law enforcement officers. This is why Trump was elected, and the left and establishment Republicans will never understand. Build the wall!
Considering the other people pardoned by previous presidents, this is not that big of a deal.
I strongly believe pardon power should be used very judiciously. This was politically motivated - as most pardons unfortunately are.
Strictly a bad precedent move made without any compelling or justifiable reasons for what is obviously a political move. What next?
This sets an extremely dangerous precedent that may allow the Trump administration to stymie the Muller investigation since he makes it clear that he is willing to pardon someone for obstruction of justice.
It's like FDR pardoning Al Capone for tax evasion. He's been a bad sheriff for a long time.
Undermines the rule of law.
Insulting on so many levels--to Arizonans who voted him out of office, Hispanics, Sens. Jeff Flake, and John McCain. Who liked it? Racists, anti-immigrant folks, white supremacists. In other words, Trump's base.
I agree with it. Arpaio should have had a jury trial. That miscarriage of justice alone merited the pardon.
Politically motivated and sends the wrong message about discrimination.
Do I agree? Not only yes but HELL yes. God Bless President Trump!
The whole thing stinks and looks like Trump is protecting friends rather than protecting justice and upholding the law.
When he's accused of racist sympathies, what does he do? Double down and pardon a convicted racist! OMFG!
Trump is completely undermining our judicial system. Arpaio was voted out last November. Even his own constituents didn't want him parading his racism around. Trump has made one more terrible call in this humiliation of an administration.
Sheriff Arpaio is a very controversial figure. I'm not sure that Pres. Trump is going to get as much blowback as one might think because this is not an isolated example of radical decision making. Pres. Trump does not seem to listen to anyone and does what he wants.
We lived in Maricopa county for two years. The only thing that guy deserves is the federal sentence that was finally coming.
As the President said, Joe is a patriot and a veteran, not a classified document leaker or a drug dealer. And the way the DOJ waited until the election to hammer him was typical of that administration. The pardon was totally warranted.
Arpaio should be in prison for a very long time. This was despicable and yet another outstandingly racist move by a disgusting and repulsive man.
He should have waited until he was sentenced then commute it instead of pardoning him.
Is Trump starting a trend to pardon his cronies and family? He should have waited for Arpaio's judge to pass sentence. He may have had a suspended sentence.
It seems more and more unlikely that Trump can do anything right. He steps in it on a regular basis.
This pardon is a nod to horrendous attitudes and behaviors and threatens us all."Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Arpaio is a cruel and sadistic racist with no regard for the law. He should not be pardoned for his many human rights abuses.
Arpaio was prosecuted for political purposes, not for any infraction of the law.
What Arpaio did was horrible. He himself called his prison a concentration camp and racially profiled Latinos! Justice was going to be served until Trump pardoned his unbelievable and inexcusable crime.
This country used to have the rule of law rather than the rule of man as a principle.
The President's action before Sheriff Arpaio's appeals process concluded evidences a total disregard of the rule of law and will encourage others to hold courts in disrepute. If the President is willing to sidestep the legal system, why should anyone else trust it?
Trump demonstrates his disdain for non-whites with this pardon. Trump is dangerous, and I'm disappointed in my party for nominating and electing this buffoon.
Immigration is way more complicated than just putting people in jail or not. The message sent here is about hatred and superiority.
Joe Arpaio was tried and convicted in a fair trial. He will serve no jail time and has expressed no remorse for breaking the law. This is a dangerous precedent for a president to set and is an injustice to the rule of law.
One of the most reasonable pardons I've seen in the last 20 years.