President Donald Trump is being quoted as telling a Fox News reporter over the weekend he's "seriously considering a pardon for Arpaio," adding the former sheriff has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration.
Joe Arpaio was found guilty last month of criminal contempt of court and is scheduled to be sentenced in October.
He is facing the possibility of fines, community service, and even jail time, but if Trump does pardon Arpaio, he won't be sentenced at all.
Arpaio was formally charged with criminal contempt-of-court after U.S. Department of Justice attorneys accused him of intentionally violating a federal judge's order. DOJ attorneys say Arpaio's deputies continued arresting undocumented immigrants without evidence they had broken state law.
The criminal contempt charges stem from Federal Judge Murray Snow's preliminary injunction in December 2011, barring Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office "from enforcing federal immigration law or from detaining persons they believed to be in the country without authorization but against whom they had no state charges," according to the DOJ's court filing.
Trump told Fox News that Arpaio is a "great American patriot" and that "he doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”
Trump could issue the pardon sometime this week, if he decides to do so.