Trump pardons former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Updated: Aug. 25, 2017 at 7:51 PM MST
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PHOENIX (Tucson News Now) - After weeks of speculation, President Donald Trump has pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The White House announced the move on Friday, Aug. 25.

Trump's decision was met with condemnation from some and appreciation from others.

"This is an abuse of the presidential pardon and a full-throated endorsement of selected racial prosecution and bigotry" Rep. Grijalva said. "If you're wronged by law enforcement, this president doesn't have your back. Racist vigilantism has a champion in the White House. This sets a sad precedent that only further divides our nation."

Arpaio took to Twitter to thank President Trump for the decision.

"I am humbled and incredibly grateful to President Trump," he wrote. "I look forward to putting this chapter behind me and helping to Make America Great Again."

[READ MORE: Arpaio pardon would refute key theme in immigration debate]

Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court last month, the culmination of a federal trial that was years in the making.

The judge found Arpaio disobeyed a judge's order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. The judge later found his officers were racially profiling Latinos.

[READ MORE: GUILTY: Judge rules in former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's criminal contempt case]

During his rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday night, Trump said he didn't want to pardon Arpaio because he didn't want "to cause any controversy."

Trump said he was found guilty of criminal contempt for "just doing his job."

He added, "I think he's going to be just fine."

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement today on President Trump's pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio:

"No one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold. Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge's orders. The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions."

Ann Kirkpatrick, candidate for Arizona's 2nd Congressional District, released the following statement regarding President Trump's pardon of former Maricopa Country Sheriff, Joe Arpaio:

"As a former prosecutor, it's clear to me that Joe Arpaio was found in contempt of court for his refusal to respect the law, after he instituted racist policing practices that trampled on the Bill of Rights.
Arpaio's lack of respect for the rule of law is unacceptable, and voters held him accountable last fall. Today, President Trump has undermined the rule of law by pardoning him. This is not a "law and order" presidency. Trump's decision to undermine the justice system is as troubling as his making excuses for white supremacist groups.
The President's actions tonight are an abuse of power. Those who remain silent are complicit."

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