On Friday night, Donald Trump used the weekend, as well as Hurricane Harvey’s tragedies, to bury his latest despicable act. In seeking to satiate his racist base, Trump awarded the notorious birther and disgraced former sheriff, Joe Arpaio, a pardon for his federal crimes. Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt for violating a federal court order to stop racially profiling Latinos. He was found to have deliberately breached the constitutional rights of American citizens.
The fact that Trump thinks these are pardonable offenses is definitive proof of his bigotry and support for fellow bigots. The white supremacists who make up much of his support were elated at the whitewashing of Arpaio’s vile criminality. (With an emphasis on “white”) But Trump’s exacerbation of the racial division for which he is largely responsible has not gone over well with everyone. Patriotic Americans who value equality and justice will not forget this affront to the rule of law.
One critic, a professor at Harvard University, makes a credible case that Trump’s pardon could itself be an impeachable offense. Add it to the list: Russia, obstruction of justice, financial corruption, the Emoluments Clause, cover ups and perjury, sexual harassment and assault.
As for Arpaio, he also has a list offenses. And his acceptance of Trump’s pardon carries with it an implicit confession of guilt. That can be used in civil cases against him going forward. The Phoenix New Times has been on the front lines of the Arpaio assault on humanity for twenty years. They posted a series of tweets linking to the horrific record of Arpaio’s unlawful regime. Here is just a taste of what they have been reporting for years:
The Phoenix New Times has many more examples of this official misconduct and heinous brutality. And by pardoning a cretin like Arpaio, Trump is effectively making himself complicit with those crimes. He is intentionally aligning himself with Arpaio’s disdain for the rule of law. And it is very likely he is also setting the stage for future pardons of his family, his partners in crime, and perhaps himself. Based on on his behavior to date, you can’t put anything past him.