The White House, in a move President Trump hinted at on Tuesday’s Phoenix rally, announced the decision to issue a pardon for former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpiao on Friday evening. “Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration,” stated the White House while also citing his service within the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The statement went on, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is a worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a category 4 hurricane striking the coast of Texas in what is predicted to inflict massive flooding. A torrent of criticism came from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi via Tweet, calling Arpaio a “fellow birther.” The House Minority Leader went on to add that the pardon “makes a mockery of rule of law, & says communities of color can be targeted & abused w/ total impunity.” Many of her colleagues on the left followed suit in their criticisms of President Trump exercising his executive abilities; abilities predecessor President Barack Obama utilized 1,927 times including 330 on January 19, 2017 alone.

A federal judge issued a ruling against Joe Arpaio in that the Maricopa Sheriff’s Office was prohibited from stopping and detaining people on suspicion that the maybe in the United States illegally. A charge the former Maricopa Sheriff strongly denied to Fox News’ Neil Cavuto citing, “We didn’t go around stopping people because their color, we stopped them on violation of law and pursuant to that if they were here illegally.”

Arpaio was eventually found guilty of violating the 2011 federal court order and was currently awaiting sentencing for the misdemeanor offense. Due to President Trump’s clemency powers, that sentencing date will never come.

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