Lawmakers And Others React To Trump's Pardon Of Joe Arpaio

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers are criticizing President Donald Trump's pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Posted at 1:39 PM, Aug 26, 2017

Lawmakers and others are denouncing President Donald Trump's pardon of former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Trump issued his first presidential pardon Friday to Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt after his department ignored a court order to stop racial profiling practices.

Arpaio was scheduled to be sentenced in October.

Critics of the move say pardoning Arpaio essentially erodes rule of law. Arizona Sen. John McCain said Trump's pardon "undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions."

Other GOP lawmakers voiced opposition. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona condemned the pardon, as did Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Justin Amash. Amash wrote: "It's a pardon of a govt official who ignored [the] Bill of Rights."

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, whom Trump fired after she said she wouldn't defend the administration's so-called travel ban, said the president's decision shows "his own contempt for our Constitution."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi expressed similar sentiments. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said the pardon is "basically a big middle finger to America."

There are some who applauded the decision. Kelli Ward, a Republican running against Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona, called Arpaio "a patriot who did the job the Feds refused to do."

And Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar also commended the pardon, saying it was a victory for justice and rule of law.