Trump pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio

By George Miller

Today, President Donald Trump pardoned six-time elected former Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  He had been convicted of a misdemeanor by a federal judge (who refused his right to trial by jury and more). At the age of 85 and over a half century of valuable government service in public safety, including his Sheriff’s position since 1993, he was coming due for sentencing, How long would he survive in a prison?


The Obama administration had gone after Arpaio with guns blazing (not literally) over his aggressive policies in stopping/questioning suspected illegal immigrants. To stop and detain people without probable cause and due process is a violation of the Constitution,. People legally present were also complaining about being stopped multiple times. There was some controversy about what constitutes probable cause. Many civil libertarians and the DOJ  believed the Sheriff’s Department was overzealous and over the line. 

The department had made changes, but the Obama administration Dept. of Justice claimed that was not enough, not being policed adequately and that Arpaio was held in contempt of court for defying an order.

Trump had hinted at a pardon as recently as his Phoenix rally this week, but waited until he was out of Phoenix (possible ANTIFA riots) and the worst hurricane to hit the US in a long time to announce it. At the rally, Trump said that he (Arpaio) should have had a jury and that he was punished for enforcing the law. He said he wasn’t going to announce a pardon there, but that “Joe would be happy.”

Arpaio has been a strong Trump ally, endorsing him and in particular allied with him on immigration law enforcement.

Opponents of Arpaio and Trump deplored the pardon, claiming it was corrupt, racist, political, etc.

Arpaio also has received both support and criticism for prison policies- keeping prisoners outside in tents in 100+ degree weather, feeding them undesirable rations, even making them wear pink underwear.

He lost his re-election bid, for the first time ever, in November, 2016, amid the controversy.

Arpaio was also persuaded by Conservative groups to investigate the authenticity of the birth certificate image placed on the site by Obama’s administration in an attempt to ward off claims that he was ineligible for the office. The investigation concluded that the image was fabricated and that it was not a copy of any physical paper certified birth document. However it did not speculate where he was born or what the actual birth circumstances were, in spite of fake news reports that Arpaio had made such claims. Multiple outside independent experts verified the investigation’s findings and conclusions. DOJ actions against Arpaio and the Sheriff’s Office intensified while the controversial and highly embarrassing investigation was underway.

updated 8-26-17:

Re this excerpt from judge Susan Bolton’s 2011 injunction to Maricopa County:

MCSO and all of its officers are hereby enjoined from detaining any person based only on knowledge or reasonable belief, without more, that the person is unlawfully present within the United States, because as a matter of law such knowledge does not amount to reasonable belief that the person either violated or conspired to violate the Arizona smuggling statute, or any other state or federal law.

The injunction did not merely prohibit the Sheriff’s department from alleged racial profiling, but even prohibited them from enforcing immigration law at all when it was the sole reason for stopping suspects. It is questionable whether a judge has the legal authority to prevent a local law enforcement agency from enforcing federal law, especially when it has  a formal partnership agreement from federal law enforcement agencies to do precisely that.

Other parts of it focused on racial profiling- whether people were stopped and excessively detained simply because “they looked Latino,” which might be a 4th Amendment violation. Multiple people who were here legally experienced that.

Subsequent rulings did not only claim that MCSO did the above, but also that they refused to elliminate their practices and lied about it and covered things up.


President Trump pardons controversial former sheriff Joe Arpaio · 1 min ago

Sheriff Joe takes final shot at Obama; claims “fraudulent” birth certificate image on White House web site

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Brian Reilly

Here are documents obtained by a FOIA request regarding former Sheriff Arpaio’s now defunct Colt Case Posse. One document in particular shows the early history of Arpaio’s CCP before it was assigned the investigation of President Obama’s birth certificate. You may be surprised what the CCP did prior to the investigation.


Some of this is totally ridiculous!, Sheiff Joe did NOT do ANYTHING wrong. The COURT was the entity acting TOTALLY unlawfully.
NOT Joe Arpaio.
The rest of you are full of it!…..
And I don’t care WHO you say you are!

Brian Reilly

Mr. Sankey, as I recall, we maintained a section in a binder of materials that you had forwarded to the Cold Case Posse.

Brian Reilly

“We stopped, but NOTHING materialized, NOTHING, despite all the promises and bluster!” Mr. Neil Sankey

And to this day, Arpaio has never released the two written “forensic” reports that were discussed at the December 15, 2016 meeting with the press. Nor did the “forensic experts” who wrote the reports attend and come forward to vouch for their work at the same press meeting on December 15, 2016. I call it a press meeting, not a press conference, as questions were not accepted from the press.

Brian Reilly

What did Arpaio do wrong? A very good answer to this question is presented in this new article by Mr. Richard Ruelas.

Edward C Noonan

I’m not going to comment on Kangaroo Court Judge Susan Bolton’s 2011 injunction to Maricopa County. She is a moron and has ZERO intelligence. However, G. Murray Snow should have known better. Even Wikipedia says: “On May 24, 2013, Snow ruled that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and committed acts of racial profiling against Hispanics.”

Civil Rights Act? The law Snow quotes refers to law public servants checking voting questions OF CITIZENS THAT STATE OFFICIALS HAVE ALREADY BEEN FOUND QUALIFIED TO VOTE… So Snow’s argument falls flat on it’s face at the start!

And too, the Arizona Constitution (see below) further says in ART VII that only CITIZENS can vote… so how can Snow or even the moron Bolton apply the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to this case? (See law below)

Furthermore, as Sheriff of M. County Arpaio had complete control over any state or county law broken within his county. 8 U.S. Code § 1358 gave him TOTAL CONTROL! He is the chief County law enforcement officer…PERIOD! Being an illegal alien is a crime… PERIOD! (See 8 U.S. Code § 1325 below). And being an illegal alien has NOTHING to do with violating the voting rights of a US citizen! (As Bolton and Snow seem to maintain).

In otherwords, Mr. Brian Reilley, SHOW ME THE LAW! What law did Arpaio violate? It was Bolton and Snow that broke the law NOT Arpaio.

“Civil Eights Act of 1964”
PUBLIC LAW 88-352-JULY 2, 1964
” (A) in determining whether any individual is qualified under
State law or laws to vote in any Federal election, apply any
standard, practice, or procedure different from the standards,
practices, or procedures applied under such law or laws to other
individuals within the same county, parish, or similar political
subdivision who have been found by State officials to be qualified
to vote;

2. Qualifications of voters; disqualification
Section 2. A. No person shall be entitled to vote at any general election, or for any office that now is, or hereafter may be, elective by the people, or upon any question which may be submitted to a vote of the people, unless such person be a citizen of the United States of the age of eighteen years or over, and shall have resided in the state for the period of time preceding such election as prescribed by law, provided that qualifications for voters at a general election for the purpose of electing presidential electors shall be as prescribed by law. The word “citizen” shall include persons of the male and female sex.
8 U.S. Code § 1358 – Local jurisdiction over immigrant stations
US Code
The officers in charge of the various immigrant stations shall admit therein the proper State and local officers charged with the enforcement of the laws of the State or Territory of the United States in which any such immigrant station is located in order that such State and local officers may preserve the peace and make arrests for crimes under the laws of the States and Territories. For the purpose of this section the jurisdiction of such State and local officers and of the State and local courts shall extend over such immigrant stations.
(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 9, § 288, 66 Stat. 234.)
8 U.S. Code § 1325 – Improper entry by alien
(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both

Brian Reilly

“I’m not going to comment on Kangaroo Court Judge Susan Bolton’s 2011 injunction to Maricopa County.”

Facts matter. It was Judge G. Murray Snow’s court order, not Judge Bolton.

Brian Reilly

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42USC ss2000d to 2000d-7

Action to enforce Title VI and related contractural assurances to compel disclosure information.

Brian Reilly


Karen Kiefer

Well written article by George Miller on the overdue pardon of Sheriff Joe! As an attorney who brought one of several Obama Ballot challenges in PA., I saw the total lack of respect for law and order of the Obama machine long before he was was sworn into office. Democrat lawyers in PA. brought ballot challenges, as they, too, realized that Obama was not Constitutionally eligible for the office of President, since his father was Kenyan; to be Constitutionally eligible, both parents must be American citizens. Sheriff Joe was targeted by the Obama administration for upholding the rule of law and for revealing the fraud who occupied the White House! Sheriff Joe should have a place on Mount Rushmore, for standing strong, as Sheriff, sworn to protect the men, women and children of his county from the invasion they suffered from Mexico! Keep up the good work, Mr. Miller, speaking truth!

Bruce Boyer

There is no basis to compare Clinton’s pardons with Trump’s pardon of Sheriff Joe. Clinton’;s pardons were all done for money, first and last. IF you want to allege political gain, that is also quite plausible. Trump’s pardon is because he believes it was BS. IF he was playing politics he would not have done so, as politically it is not a sure winner.
The allegations were never adjudicated as the Court ruled itself on whether he was in contempt of that Court’s order, so there was no trial by a jury, let alone of his peers. i am a strong 4th Amendment defender so I do take strong issue with the arbitrary stops, yes its a BIG deal. but to deny his rights is claiming two wrongs make a right, they do not. The Judge’s order was as to preventing the Dept from enforcing Federal law. There was no opportunity to challenge the legality of such an order. Tyrants in Black Robes….

Brian Reilly

Don’t fall for the spin. Arpaio was offered a choice to either go with a bench trial or a jury trial. Arpaio chose to go with a bench trial to limit his sentence upon conviction to no more than 6 months in federal prison.

Also, Sheriff Arpaio admitted to being in civil contempt prior to the civil contempt hearings in 2015, apparently hoping that it would cancel the contempt of court hearings. It didn’t. He admitted that he did not comply with the court ordered injunction. He was ordered not to detain or arrest individuals without probable cause that they had committed or were committing a crime. In the civil contempt hearings, Arpaio admitted 3 times, under oath, that he was in civil contempt of court. The criminal trial was held in 2017 to determine if Arpaio’s actions were intentional. They were determined by the court to be intentional. Arpaio, over the course of nearly 18 months, ignored the order.

Arpaio acts like no conservative and apparently, he thought he was above the law.

Brian Reilly

There is a HUGE difference being ordered not to enforce a law, and being ordered to enforce the law according to the Constitution. Arpaio was ordered not to arrest or detain individuals without probable cause, which is according to the Constitution. Arpaio got into trouble with his neighborhood “sweeps” of people of color. Skin color or ethnicity, in and of itself is not probable cause for an arrest. Imagine arresting a group of Caucasians who are standing on the US side of the US / Canadian border, because they look like Canadians who may have illegally crossed the border. However, nobody saw them cross the border and the color of their skin is not probable cause for an arrest. If you arrest this group of Caucasians because they look like Canadians, based only on their skin color, you’ve made an unlawful arrest without probable cause.

Brian Reilly

Here is the correct May 28, 2013, MCSO Briefing Board MCSO Order:

“By Order of Sheriff Arpaio, effective immediately, no MCSO personnel shall detain any person for turnover to ICE unless probable cause to arrest or detain exists under Arizona Criminal Law.”
Gov’t. Exhibit 46

In other words, the troops had to have probable cause that a crime had been committed to make the arrest and then turn the individual over to ICE. The arrest couldn’t be based simply on skin color or ethnicity to detain or arrest as was the case with neighborhood “sweeps.”

Brian Reilly

“So you admit that Joe issued the right orders.”

Sheriff Arpaio issued the correct Order to his deputies, nearly a year and a half after the Order was issued by Judge G. Murray Snow. This was the order that Arpaio admitted to, under oath, being in civil contempt for failing to follow the Order. This led to Arpaio’s criminal trial to determine if he intentionally ignored Judge Snow’s Order. He was found guilty of intentionally ignoring Judge Snow’s Order.

Brian Reilly

Phoenix, Arizona attorneys, Republican and Democrat speak about the abuse of the Constitution by former Sheriff Arpaio and his pardon by the President.

Quote: “Now [Arpaio] has his pardon, now he says that he wants to go further and clear his name…Sorry Sheriff…your name from this point forward is a watchword for abuse of power and it will follow you wherever you go.” Judge Fidel

Brian Reilly

More proof that Arpaio’s conviction (guilty verdict) is not automatically eliminated with a Presidential pardon:

Brian Reilly

Will President Trump’s pardon decision lead to his Impeachment?
Here is an excerpt form the Bloomberg article, entitled “Arpaio Pardon Would Show Contempt for the Constitution” August 26, 2017. Note the reference to James Madison.

“When a sheriff ignores the courts, he becomes a law unto himself. The courts’ only available recourse is to sanction the sheriff. If the president blocks the courts from making the sheriff follow the law, then the president is breaking the basic structure of the legal order.
From this analysis it follows directly that pardoning Arpaio would be a wrongful act under the Constitution. There would be no immediate constitutional crisis because, legally speaking, Trump has the power to issue the pardon.
But the pardon would trigger a different sort of crisis: a crisis in enforcement of the rule of law.
The Constitution isn’t perfect. It offers only one remedy for a president who abuses the pardon power to break the system itself. That remedy is impeachment.
James Madison noted at the Virginia ratifying convention that abuse of the pardon power could be grounds for impeachment. He was correct then — and it’s still true now.”

Brian Reilly

Presidential pardon:
Does a presidential pardon expunge or erase the conviction for which the pardon was granted?
No. Expungement is a judicial remedy that is rarely granted by the court and cannot be granted within the Department of Justice or by the President. Please also be aware that if you were to be granted a presidential pardon, the pardoned offense would not be removed from your criminal record. Instead, both the federal conviction as well as the pardon would both appear on your record. However, a pardon will facilitate removal of legal disabilities imposed because of the conviction, and should lessen to some extent the stigma arising from the conviction. In addition, a pardon may be helpful in obtaining licenses, bonding, or employment. If you are seeking expungement of a federal offense, please contact the court of conviction. If you are seeking expungement of a state conviction, which the Office of the Pardon Attorney also does not have authority to handle, states have different procedures for “expunging” a conviction or “clearing” the record of a criminal conviction. To pursue relief of a state conviction, you should contact the Governor or state Attorney General in the state in which you were convicted for assistance.

Brian Reilly

Regarding your update, it was a December 23, 2011 court order issued by Judge G. Murray Snow that Arpaio violated.

Brian Reilly

Thanks George. It really is unfortunate how Trump handled this pardon situation. It looks more like political payback and friendship taken into account rather than Trump taking the victims into consideration. We haven’t heard the last of this, I’m sure.

William Hicks

Tell me…..were there any negative comments when Barry pardoned over 1700 criminals; some of them drug related and many of them violent?

Brian Reilly

With the announcement of President Trump’s pardon offer to former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I feel compelled to make a few observations. It’s always important to release controversial news on a Friday night before the weekend. Trump seeking the weekend cover offered by way of a Friday news dump is the way of a coward. Trump, if he truly believed in a pardon for Joe Arpaio, should have had the courage to have announced it during his appearance this week at the rally in Phoenix for all of Joe’s fans to savor their victory. During Trump’s presidential campaign, he told us that he would never lie to us. He told us that he believed in the rule of law and would honor our U.S. Constitution. Trump then went on to court Latino voters and other people of color. Trump then offers a pardon to the man who violated the constitutional rights of Latinos and failed to follow a federal court order to stop arresting or detaining individuals without probable cause that a crime was being committed or had been committed. Did President Trump speak with any of Arpaio’s victims? Did President Trump bother to review the court transcripts? Did President Trump consult with his Department of Justice? This pardon decision by President Trump offers no consolation to the victims who have pursued justice as a result of Arpaio’s actions. The only consolation offered to Arpaio’s victims is that Arpaio’s criminal conviction, I’m told will not be erased, and that accepting the pardon is the same as admitting guilt, something that Arpaio has continuously denied. A Presidential pardon only eliminates the penalty that Arpaio would have had to pay, in this case, up to 6 months confinement in a federal prison. As one who has sat through the Arpaio civil contempt hearings in 2015, and the Arpaio criminal trial in 2017 and having seen the court evidence and listened to court testimony and read the transcripts, and as one who voted for Mr. Trump for president, the rule of law and the US Constitution took a huge blow today. The Maricopa County taxpayers who have been saddled with Arpaio’s legal expenses are the ones now being punished, not Arpaio. Trump’s cowardly decision was a slap in the face to all persons of color. Maricopa County voters wisely decided Arpaio’s fate last November.

William Hicks

Raspberries to you Brian

Matt Stephenson

The good sheriff? There is no positivity when a person of such authority is perceived as a racist…It appears trump is taking care of only those that carryout his racists objective…should a citizen violate the constitution, I highly doubt he/she be pardoned…

William Hicks

Why is every secure border advocate called a racist? Show’s me how limited you are when the best thing you can come up with is using the race card.

William Hicks

If those that were pardoned by Clinton and Obama were dealt fairly with, then why not the good Sheriff?