That's how you get
RINOS Wrong on Arpaio
By Daniel John Sobieski
Arizona Sen. John McCain’s limited understanding of the law and the
Constitution was on display when he falsely claimed that President
Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio
undermined the rule of law. McCain was joined by his Arizona colleague,
Sen. Jeff Flake, who is up for reelection in 2018:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted President Trump over his pardon of
former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Friday, arguing it
“undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law.”
“Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to
illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived
immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders,” McCain said in a
“The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at
this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr.
Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions.”
Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt after he disobeyed a federal
judge’s order to stop racially profiling individuals suspected of
illegally entering the U.S.
McCain’s counterpart in the Senate, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), also
criticized Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio on Friday."Regarding the
Arpaio pardon, I would have preferred that the President honor the
judicial process and let it take its course," Flake wrote on Twitter.
Indeed, as McCain acknowledges, the power of the President to pardon
anyone for any reason is absolute. It cannot undermine the rule of law
for the Constitution trumps, no pun intended all laws, and one can argue
that the judge’s order Arpaio is said to have criminally violated is no
more valid or soundly rooted in the law than the rulings that initially
blocked President Trump’s temporary travel ban.
As Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett noted on the subject of Trump’s
pardon of Arpaio in a series of tweets:
Sen. McCain's ignorance of the Constitution is surprising. Presidential
pardons cannot, by definition, undermine the rule of law, nor respect
for it. The Founders conferred an absolute right in a President to
pardon any person for any offense. Trump exercised this right, just as
every President before him has done. But under McCain's standard, all
pardons would undermine the rule of law. Obama pardoned General James
Cartwright and commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning. The President
had the right to do so.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also headed for the tall grass, echoing McCain’s
"The speaker does not agree with this decision,” said Doug Andres, a
spokesman for Ryan. “Law enforcement officials have a special
responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States.
We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished
by this pardon."
Okay, Speaker Ryan, just whose rights are being diminished here? The
rights of American citizens to have their citizenship mean something or
the rights of illegal aliens who have no right to roam our streets, much
less to prey on our citizens like the murdered Kate Steinle?
As Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, noted in his response to criticism of
Trump’s pardon of Arpaio, not only did Trump have the authority but also
“Sheriff Joe” deserved it:
The pardon has received support from other Arizona Republicans,
including Rep. Trent Franks, who said the ex-lawman is a “patriot.”
“In his last days, (President) Obama commuted the prison sentence of
Chelsea Manning -- a treasonous intelligence analyst who shared a trove
of intelligence with the infamous Wikileaks,” Franks, R-Ariz., said
Saturday in a statement to Fox News.
“While no one can dispute Manning acted to undermine our country's
national security, Joe Arpaio has spent a lifetime trying to maintain
it… It is easy to discern that Arpaio is a patriot, while Manning is a
Arpaio was found guilty by a Clinton-appointee after he was denied a
trial by jury based on the relative minor nature of the charge, a
misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail. The ruling reeks of
politics, with the decision to prosecute Arpaio on profiling charges
made by an incoming Obama administration bent on throwing open the
nation’s borders to illegal aliens:
The guilty ruling, by Bill Clinton-appointed U.S. District Judge Susan
Bolton, is the latest chapter of a nearly decade-long saga of legal
proceedings against Sheriff Joe initiated by leftist groups opposed to
his aggressive policing of illegal aliens. The 85-year-old Arpaio now
faces up to six months in jail.
The charges against Arpaio stem from a civil rights suit demanding he
cease “racial profiling” in his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s
immigration enforcement operations. After a federal judge issued an
order demanding certain practices, Arpaio was charged with contempt for
continuing to try to enforce the law as he saw fit.
Because Arpaio was charged only with a misdemeanor punishable by a
maximum of six-months in jail, the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee
him a right to trial by a jury of his peers. Arpaio and his attorneys
repeatedly petitioned for a jury, only to be denied by Judge Bolton in
March and again in May. Sources familiar with the proceedings have told
Breitbart News the decision to charge only the misdemeanor was likely a
ploy by federal prosecutors to avoid a jury trial in the community where
Arpaio served as sheriff for more than 20 years…
The decision to criminally prosecute Arpaio was taken while the DOJ was
run by Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Arpaio was cleverly denied a jury of his peers, a jury comprised of
Arizona citizens beset by illegal aliens and the crimes they commit,
according to National Center for Police Defense (NCPD) President James
Fotis, who was present in the courtroom, and was highly skeptical a
Phoenix jury could have ever found Arpaio guilty. He told Breitbart News:
“I sat through three days of testimony and it was clear from the
beginning that the DOJ had no evidence to make their case. In fact, all
of the DOJ’s witnesses made it clear that Judge Snow’s order was unclear
and ambiguous. There is no way a jury would have determined that the
Sheriff willfully and intentionally violated the judge’s order.”
As Investor’s Business Daily editorialized at the time, the decision to
prosecute Joe Arpaio smacked of hypocrisy, injustice, and legal
gymnastics involving one Thomas Perez, current foul-mouthed head of the
Democratic National Committee and former Obama administration DOJ official:
The administration that refused to enforce voting rights law in the New
Black Panther case is going after America's best-known sheriff for what
it calls discriminatory policing practices involving Hispanics…
With a thoroughness not seen in Justice's handling of the "Fast and
Furious" federal gun-running debacle that resulted in the murder of
Border Patrol agent Brian Terry a year ago, Assistant Attorney General
Thomas E. Perez, head of the department's Civil Rights Division, listed
Arpaio's alleged excesses and said a three-year civil investigation
found that the sheriff and his deputies engaged in unconstitutional
conduct and violations of federal law that jeopardized his "commitment
to fair and effective" law enforcement…
No doubt Arpaio has been under scrutiny for some time. But the timing of
the announcement is curious, not only because of the announced Supreme
Court review of SB1070, but also because it can be seen as another
attempt to rally the president's Hispanic base as we enter an election
year, and to portray border security advocates as racist and anti-Latino.
If the name Thomas Perez sounds familiar, it should: Perez was heavily
involved in the decision to drop the voter intimidation case against
members of the New Black Panther Party. Perez testified before the U.S.
Civil Rights Commission that "the facts did not constitute a
prosecutable violation of the federal criminal civil rights statutes."
The fact is that Joe Arpaio was in fact enforcing federal law as
originally written, only to have the Obama administration rewrite the
law in order to prosecute Arpaio. Under the federal government’s 287(g)
program, Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office was authorized
and trained to enforce federal immigration law and ask those suspected
of a crime their immigration status:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano quickly piled on.
"Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust,"
she said. "DHS will not be a party to such practices.
"Accordingly, and effective immediately, DHS is terminating (the
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's) 287(g) jail model agreement and is
restricting the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office access to the Secure
DHS has memoranda of agreement (MOAs) with around 70 state and local law
enforcement agencies to participate in 287(g) partnerships to enforce
federal law. Under the 287(g) program, Arpaio's deputies could question
jail inmates about their immigration status.
What makes this case interesting, as the Washington Examiner's Byron
York has reported, is that in September 2008, nine months before DOJ
first informed Arpaio of its investigation, Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) conducted its own investigation of Arpaio's office and
procedures and found nothing inappropriate or illegal.
Perhaps if Arpaio had given away the nation’s secrets, or been an
international felon like the Clinton-pardoned Marc Rich, or been a New
Black Panther intimidating Philadelphia voters in 2008, McCain, Flake,
and Ryan might have a case. But they don’t. Joe Arpaio was and is a
patriot fighting to protect our nation’s borders from invasion and was
acting in good faith in enforcing federal laws it was originally
written, not as reinterpreted by a liberal judge.
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in
Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago
Sun-Times among other publications.