Arizona Democratic leaders urge Pres. Trump not to pardon Arpaio

President Trump has publicly commented that he is "seriously considering" pardoning Joe Arpaio after his seven year lawsuit of defying a court order to stop immigration arrests.

A group of Arizona congressmen are calling on President Donald Trump in the “strongest possible terms” to not pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

In a letter to the president, Congressmen Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva and Tom O'Halleran say they are “gravely concerned” about a pardon, writing the former sheriff should not get "relief from the penalties he deservedly faces for his illegal conduct and brazen abuse of the public trust."

Trump was quoted as telling a Fox News reporter over the weekend he's "seriously considering" a pardon 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.

The congressmen feel he should be held accountable.

RELATED: Opponents of Joe Arpaio speak out against potential presidential pardon

“The rule of law should be applied fairly regardless of how powerful an officer holder’s friends are,” the three wrote in the letter.

Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema joined her three Democratic colleagues with a statement saying “former Sheriff Joe Arpaio hurt Arizonans and cost taxpayers a great amount of grief and money.”

“He must be held accountable for his actions. No one is above the law,” she said.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said he was “disappointed” Trump was holding a campaign rally in Phoenix just over a week after the tragic events in Charlottesville. And if he's coming to pardon Arpaio, Stanton said it  would be "clear that his true intent is to enflame emotions and further divide our nation."

With a pardon of Arpaio, the three congressmen wrote, President Trump would send a "clear message" that his friends are "immune from prosecution."

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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