House Speaker Paul Ryan on Saturday attacked President Donald Trump for pardoning former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, joining several other Republicans to criticize the controversial decision.
"The speaker does not agree with the decision," Doug Andres, a spokesman for the Wisconsin representative, told The Wall Street Journal. "Law-enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States.
"We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon."
The White House did not immediately respond to Ryan's remarks, but Arpaio's attorney, Jack Wilenchik, said that Ryan "is wrong here."
"This is why when politics tries to mix with the courts, it's very tough," he told Ana Cabrera on CNN. "The president did the right thing, because there should have been a jury in this case from day one."I would have rather seen it go to jury in the first place, but now we're dealing with a wrongful verdict."
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told the Journal that Trump's pardon was a "White House question."
President Trump late Friday pardoned Arpaio, 85, of federal contempt of court charges for refusing to stop his crackdown on illegal immigrants.
Trump tweeted later that Arpaio, the tough-talking former Maricopa County sheriff, had "kept Arizona safe."
Arpaio last posted that he was "humbled and incredibly grateful" for Trump's action:
But several Republicans, including Arizona's two senators, bashed Trump's decision, taking to Twitter to question the president's commitment to upholding the rule of law:
Other Republicans backed the president:
But former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik supported Trump's pardon in a tweet that ripped McCain:
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