On Saturday, Aug. 16, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., who represents Homewood and Flossmoor in Congress, released this statement following President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for criminal contempt:
“I am outraged by this ‘law and order’ president’s flippant disregard for basic rule of law and civil rights. The decision to pardon Joe Arpaio is more of the same from President (Donald) Trump. The president has shown that he is hellbent on putting his political interests before the interests of the American people, and that he has little to no regard for the values enshrined in our constitution.
In November, the people of Maricopa County rejected Arpaio’s racist and discriminatory so-called justice. He was tried and convicted of criminal contempt. President Trump’s decision to pardon Sheriff Arpaio is in itself a pardoning of racial profiling, discrimination and bad policing.
This pardon is part of a troubling pattern of obstructing justice by this administration, starting with the firing of FBI Director (James) Comey and recent threats to fire Special Counsel (Robert) Mueller.
It’s well past time for congressional Republicans to stop ignoring the president’s disregard for American laws and our Constitution.”
Arpaio served as Maricopa County sheriff for 24 years, and during his tenure he gained a reputation for aggressive measures to combat illegal immigration. He was convicted of misdemeanor criminal contempt for continuing to have his deputies stop people to inquire about their immigration status even though a judge ordered him to stop the practice.
The judge ruled the sheriff’s office did not have legal authority to use that tactic. Arpaio could have been sentenced to up to six months in jail; however, President Trump’s pardon came before sentencing was pronounced.