3 takeaways from Day 2 of the Arpaio trial: Jeff Sessions won't take the stand

Prosecutors work to prove that Apraio knew about the judge's order about immigration deportation. If convicted, Arpaio could face six months in jail.

Here are the top three highlights from Day 2 at former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's criminal-contempt trial:

Jeff Sessions isn't walking through that door: Arpaio's defense team was swinging for the fences with wild motions in the days leading up to the trial.

There's an open motion to move a trial that's heading for its third day. A bid to delay the trial failed.

And now we know Attorney General Jeff Sessions won't be riding to Arpaio's rescue. Federal Judge Susan R. Bolton quashed the defense subpoena of Sessions.

Arpaio's attorneys said Sessions could testify to local law enforcers' role in immigration law.

Bolton noted that Sessions wasn't in office when Arpaio's alleged offenses occurred. What Sessions has to say about immigration law today is irrelevant, the judge said.

The 'lazy and incompetent' defense: Lisa Allen was Arpaio's top spokeswoman and alter ego for almost all of his 24 years in office. She spoke to Arpaio for hours a day every day, she says.

I talked to her outside the federal courthouse after she testified Tuesday as a witness for the prosecution.

She had testified that Arpaio and his top brass never talked about a federal judge's 2011 injunction barring Arpaio from enforcing federal immigration law. Arpaio is charged with intentionally defying that order.

Allen said the brass "didn't become aware of the order" until MCSO "got in trouble" for it.

I asked Allen how that was even possible. The order was major news.

She offered a novel defense: Arpaio's team was guilty of being "lazy and incompetent":

"I don't think he knew (about the order). I don't think anybody knew. What I say, and it's not particularly flattering, we didn't ignore the thing, we didn't do any of that. If we were guilty of anything, it was maybe that we were a little lazy and a little incompetent."

She didn't say that on the witness stand. I'm still not sure why the prosecution called Allen as a witness against Arpaio (she was already on the defense witness list).

They have a history: Star prosecution witness Tim Casey, Arpaio's former lawyer, was on the witness stand for seven hours during the trial's first two days. He described it as "the worst experience of my 27-year legal career."

The worst of the worst appeared to be Casey's testy back-and-forth under cross-examination by Arpaio defense attorney Dennis Wilenchik.

At one point, Casey slammed Wilenchik's defense as "throwing (Arpaio's) former lawyer under the bus."

Turns out that Casey is Wilenchik's former lawyer, too.

Casey defended Wilenchik for his role in Arpaio's infamous arrests of two Phoenix New Times executives in the middle of the night at their homes. Wilenchik, acting as a special prosecutor, ordered the arrests.

Can you guess the name of the judge in that case? Susan R. Bolton.

Bolton, by the way, is weathering Wilenchik's borderline inappropriate behavior during the Arpaio trial.

Wilenchik appears unable to address Bolton as "judge" or "your honor," routinely talks over Bolton, and can't resist a snarky wisecrack after the judge explains herself.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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