Josh Cafetz, a Constitutional law professor at Cornell, writes in the Washington Post that Donald J Trump’a pardon of Sherriff Joe Arpaio speaks not so much to the fact that many of us do not think Arpaio deserved it but to the fact that this president chose this person as the beneficiary of his first use of the Pardon power.
Here are excepts from Chafetz’s op-ed piece:
“After days of hinting about it, President Trump finally pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff best known for his hostility toward undocumented immigrants and his brutality toward prisoners in his custody. Arpaio had been convicted in July of criminal contempt of court for defying an order to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants who had not broken any state law. Trump’s pardon ensures that Arpaio will not serve any time for the offense.”
“As sheriff, Arpaio was known for a hostility toward undocumented immigrants that was functionally indistinguishable from hostility toward Latinos. He conducted sweeps of Latino neighborhoods and stops of Latino drivers in attempts to find undocumented immigrants. He held inmates in brutal and degrading conditions. He installed publicly accessible webcams so that the public could gawk at inmates, and one of those cameras showed female prisoners using the toilet. And he was a leading proponent of the racist lie that President Barack Obama was not a natural-born American citizen.
Arpaio’s entire claim to national recognition was based on his being a xenophobe, a racist and an officer of the machinery of government who relished wielding that machinery to degrade some of the most powerless members of our society.
The White House statement announcing the pardon claimed that, “Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.” In a tweet, Trump called Arpaio an “American patriot” and wrote, “He kept Arizona safe!”
In other words, Trump pardoned Arpaio because of his actions as sheriff, actions that are consistent with the platform on which Trump campaigned and has attempted to govern. Those actions were appalling — and not only is Arpaio unremorseful, but Trump has actually held him up as a model to be emulated.”
So, the question is asked, Where does Trump’s use of the Pardon power end if this is the way it begins? Who can guess how many additional “American patriot(s)” this president will pardon – police convicted of brutality in the performance of their duties, military officers convicted of sexual crimes toward women, personal friends and supporters convicted of both criminal and civil crimes of various sorts?
The story here is not primarily about Arpaio. The story is about Donald J Trump and the continuing danger to this Country he poses as president.
This is just one more example of why Congress must act now to remove him from the Oval Office.
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