Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a true American patriot who I am proud to call my friend. He was also my client when he singlehandedly, in a lawsuit which I filed on his behalf, was the first to challenge the executive order of former President Barack Obama effectively granting amnesty to over 5 million illegal immigrants. We ultimately won this legal challenge, and deep-sixed Obama’s illegal amnesty, the matter going all the way to the Supreme Court. The man has guts, and this is why he is called “America’s Sheriff.”
But last fall, Sheriff Joe was victimized by a political hit job at the hands of a federal judge in the district of Arizona. This jurist, G. Murray Snow, had previously told his wife that he would “destroy” Arpaio in a civil contempt lawsuit brought by the ACLU and its counsel Covington & Burling, not coincidentally the law firm of Eric Holder, Obama’s former attorney general. In front of witnesses in a Phoenix restaurant, Snow’s wife then loudly boasted about her husband’s threat.
This civil contempt case alleged that Arpaio had violated an order issued by Snow preventing the Sheriff's Department from profiling undocumented immigrants at day workers’ sites. Snow later entered an order of civil contempt and true to his pledge to destroy the sheriff then referred the matter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for criminal prosecution, just days before last November’s elections, claiming that Arpaio had intentionally defied his order. This referral had Snow’s “desired result” of destroying Arpaio, as the sheriff then predictably lost his bid for reelection.
The criminal contempt charges recommended by Snow were assigned to another federal judge, this one named Susan Bolton. She conveniently was appointed to the bench by former President Bill Clinton. Sheriff Joe then asserted his constitutional right to a jury trial, which was outrageously denied by Bolton. At that point, the handwriting was on the wall. Bolton did not want to allow Arpaio’s criminal contempt charges to go before a jury, since she, as the leftist jurist she is, wanted, herself, to make sure that the final nail was was put into his coffin.
While Arpaio appealed Bolton’s denial of his right to a jury to the Supreme Court, and then asked for stay of his criminal trial while the appeal proceeded — which also predictably was denied — Bolton then rushed to judgment. But while the sheriff was denied his constitutional right, ironically the eventual trial appeared to him to go well in any event. The so-called evidence which the holdover Obama DOJ prosecutors presented to the court did not, by any stretch, show that Arpaio had intentionally violated Snow’s prior order. Indeed, the sheriff told me that he was confident of winning even before a judge like Bolton.
But I cautioned him about being confident. In my forty years as a trial lawyer and as the founder, chairman and general counsel of Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch, I regrettably knew that a Clinton judicial appointee would only rule in favor of someone like Arpaio if “hell froze over.” Indeed, and regrettably, I was right and my good friend was convicted of criminal contempt.
Seeing this injustice, President Trump then bravely stepped in and pardoned America’s sheriff last Friday. With this pardon, predictably the vicious leftist forces in the Democratic Party, the likes of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and the two-faced establishment forces in the Republican Party, the likes of the vengeful Senator John McCain and the self-serving Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, exploded with feigned outrage — ignoring the scenario which lead to the sheriff’s unfair and unjust politically motivated conviction.
A few days after Trump’s pardon, the Washington Post revealed — again through leaks at the compromised DOJ — that the president had, before trial, asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to review the Arpaio prosecution and to consider dropping the criminal charges. This request by President Trump was perfectly proper and within his authority as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. Indeed, at the outset I had suggested this approach to Sheriff Joe.
However, as was true of my similar request to have Sessions review the on-going and equally political prosecution of Cliven Bundy, Sessions abdicated his responsibility and refused the president’s lawful request, apparently claiming, without legal basis, that the request was improper.
It is time that the attorney general, who has been unfairly branded as a racist, and who is himself being criminally investigated by Special Counsel Mueller over alleged collusion with Russia, nevertheless “man up,” and do his job! It is dangerous for the republic to have an attorney general, who like an ostrich, puts his head in the sand to try to save his own “political feathers.”
Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, is known for his strong public interest advocacy in furtherance of ethics in government and individual freedoms and liberties. To read more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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