Will besieged Sheriff Joe Arpaio be Trump’s first official pardon?

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, long a target of the Obama administration for having the audacity to enforce the country’s immigration laws, may prove to be President-elect Donald Trump‘s very first official presidential pardon.

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Obama’s Justice Department targeted Arpaio, who once investigated the legitimacy of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, for racial profiling, eventually charging him with criminal contempt of court for allegedly defying a judge’s order to stop targeting Latinos during traffic stops.

With the trial now postponed until April 4, 2017, the 84-year-old sheriff may very well submit a pardon request after Trump takes office in January, according to Law Newz.

Paul K. Charlton, U.S. Attorney for Arizona under President George W. Bush, told Law Newz that Arpaio, who endorsed Trump for president, could seek a pardon and Trump would likely be tempted to grant it.

Arpaio’s name was also tossed around as a possibility to head up the Department of Homeland Security for Trump.

“If President-elect Trump wants to, he could pardon Arpaio for the charge he currently faces and any other charges he faces for crimes that he may have committed,” Charlton said.

A move that would be wildly popular among Trump’s base.

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“I guess politically you don’t have to look very deeply at this to see how President-elect Trump could make a large number of his constituents happy if he were to grant Joe Arpaio this pardon,” he said.

In fact, it’s a little surprising that a petition for just such an occurrence hasn’t already been launched.

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Tom Tillison

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