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Trump Pardons Ex-Sheriff Arpaio, Who Illegally Targeted Immigrants

(Associated Press)

President Trump on Friday pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the retired Arizona lawman who was convicted of intentionally disobeying a judge’s order in an immigration case.

The White House said the 85-year-old ex-sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County was a “worthy candidate” for a presidential pardon. Arpaio’s sentencing had been set for Oct. 5.

The action came several days after Trump, at a rally in downtown Phoenix, strongly hinted he would pardon Arpaio. “So was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?” Trump asked supporters. “I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine, OK?”

Arpaio, who became linked to Trump during the presidential election campaign because of their hard-line views on immigration, was convicted of a misdemeanor for intentionally defying a judge’s order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants while he was sheriff.

Both politicians questioned the authenticity of then-President Barack Obama’s birth certificate and have a similar history in sparring with judges.

In the statement Friday night, the White House said, “Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”

Eric Tucker / AP
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