Donald Trump keeps losing friends. Rex Tillerson grew a conscience, after Trump refused to condemn the neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, saying essentially Donald Trump doesn’t speak for me. No matter, Donald Trump is making new friends.
Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa county Arizona, is considering a run for the U.S. Senate. Yay us. What is his experience? From 1993 to 2016 he was an elected official whose job it was to enforce the law…he was a public servant, but not a good one.
Arpaio had been repeatedly accused of police misconduct, and has been the subject of several civil rights law suits. His prisons had been compared to concentration camps and alarmingly 160 people hung themselves in Joe Arpaio’s jails, preferring death to the torture they endured on his watch. Lawsuits over the hangings cost Maricopa County $140 million.
Arpaio was ordered by US District Court Judge G. Murray Snow to stop racial profiling and harassing the hispanic community. He was convicted of criminal contempt of court for ignoring the judge’s order.
While he thought the country would be distracted by storms that raged in Houston on Friday, Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio— and without following the procedures made clear in the constitution, saying Arpaio had been “protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.”
There has been conjecture on Trump’s real reasons for the pardon:
- Trump likes Arpaio. These guys are two of a kind— racist old men who abuse power, neither thinking laws or court orders or the Constitution of the United States apply to them, and they were both part of the “Obama wasn’t born here” non-sense.
- Trump is a racist, so he doesn’t see anything wrong with what Arpaio did. A quick google search would make any reasonable person with a modicum of compassion think otherwise. A short list of what Arpaio has been accused of in addition to abuse of power; misuse of funds; failure to investigate sex crimes; improper clearance of cases; unlawful enforcement of immigration laws; and election law violations.
- It’s also possible Arpaio’s pardon is Trump’s way of sending a message to those under investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, for Russia’s interference in our 2016 presidential election. The message is: be loyal to me and I’ll pardon you, because the laws don’t apply to this president. He has been untouchable so far.
- There is one other possible reason for this move on Trump’s part. Perhaps he’s testing how far he can push the limits of the constitution— is the premature pardoning of Arpaio a test run for a blanket pardon of everyone under suspicion in Mueller’s investigation? Will he try to pardon before convictions, or even before anyone testifies, ending the Russian investigation that way?
Any time Trump loses control of his twitter finger, we can assume he’s feeling the heat for some new Russia related revelation made public, and he needs to distract the public.
The scary thing is he seems to be campaigning for a 2020 re-election already. Who knows, between gerrymandering, the electoral college, and Putins help: tampering with electronic voting machines, propaganda, and voter suppression, he might just be re-elected.
But, if Trump keeps losing friends it might not get that far… #ImpeachTrump.