Trump comes under bipartisan criticism for Arpaio pardon

President Trump
(Image credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images)

President Trump came under broad criticism Saturday for his decision to pardon Joe Arpaio, the controversial former sheriff from Arizona who was convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to comply with a court order to stop detaining people purely on suspicion that they might be illegal immigrants.

Trump caught flak from Republicans in both houses of Congress, including Arpaio's fellow Arizona Republican, John McCain:

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Democrats piled on, too. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the pardon "makes mockery of rule of law," while Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) leveled a more serious charge:

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Arpaio, meanwhile, thanked Trump for "seeing my conviction for what it is: a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department!"

For more on Arpaio's record of prisoner mistreatment and racial harassment, see this breakdown of the pardon's disturbing implications from The Week's Scott Lemieux.

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