When accused of pardoning notorious racist and human rights abuser Sheriff Joe Arpaio as Hurricane Harvey was battering Texas in order to fly under the proverbial radar, the president said, “Actually, in the middle of a hurricane, even though it was a Friday evening, I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they were normally.”
But it turns out that both President Trump and the Justice Department are now looking at a legal battle over the controversial pardoning, as first reported by Arizona Central. District Judge Susan Bolton approved Trump’s request to throw out Arpaio’s sentencing hearing, but she isn’t letting Arpaio off the hook. Judge Bolton has ordered the Department of Justice to file a memo and has also scheduled a hearing for October 4th where Trump and the Justice Department must publicly argue why the former sheriff deserves to walk free.
In turn, the state of Arizona will have their own chance to argue why Arpaio should not be pardoned. This will allow the state’s team to detail the full list of crimes and misdeeds of Joe Arpaio.which These include running what he refers to as a “concentration camp,” forcing a woman to give birth in shackles, multiple counts of torturing inmates, and refusing to investigate sex crimes against Latinx children.
Jack Wilenchik, an attorney for Arpaio, said the former Maricopa County sheriff feels it important that the guilty finding in his case be vacated, even though pardon prevents him from ever serving time. “It’s a matter of clearing his name, and removing any legal effects of the conviction,” Wilenchik said.