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 statement.
“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. One can indeed 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 noteded 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 sentiments
"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 traitor.”
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 Communities program."…
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 lawas it was originally written, not as reinterpreted by a liberal judge.
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