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House Judiciary Democrats Want Investigation of Trump’s Arpaio Pardon

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Today, all of the House Judiciary Committee Democrats wrote a letter to committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) asking that he investigate Trump’s pardon of sheriff-turned-convicted-criminal Joe Arpaio. It is the fifth request that committee Democrats have sent to the Chairman relating to oversight of the Trump Administration.

Trump pardoned Arpaio last Friday hoping for “higher ratings” during Hurricane Harvey’s landfall. He pardoned Arpaio even though the deposed Sheriff was convicted by multiple courts for refusing to obey the law re: the racial profiling and discrimination of Latinos. Editorial boards — and some Republicans — have blasted Trump for the pardon, emphasizing what an unrepentant, racist bigot Arpaio is and the many, many offenses he’s committed over the years. A number of commentators have suggested that Arpaio’s pardon is an impeachable offense for Trump. For these reasons, the House Democrats want Goodlatte to act. As they wrote:

Sheriff Arpaio was convicted for criminal contempt of court because he ignored orders from a federal judge to stop engaging in racial profiling.  The pardon not only disregards the rule of law, it directly flouts the courts themselves by signaling that it is acceptable for parties to ignore court orders…

It is also our Committee’s unique and pressing responsibility to conduct oversight of the President’s use of executive power—particularly when that power is expressed as a pardon that only serves to endorse the transgressions committed by the offender.  If we do not examine this use of the pardon power, we fear that the Committee will be seen by our constituents—and by future generations—as also having endorsed the Sheriff’s conduct.

The letter was signed by every Democratic member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which includes: Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Karen Bass (D-CA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Brad Schneider (D-IL).

The full letter can be viewed here or below: