Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he will go public at the appropriate time about the “abuse” the Obama administration allegedly perpetrated against him, charging Barack Obama and his attorney general with using the justice system to push him out of office.
“This goes back to the former president — (former Attorney General) Eric Holder. Sixty days after they took office, they launched this investigation and here it is. When I was running for office, contempt of court, misdemeanor, and they did it politically,” Arpaio told Fox News host Sean Hannity Wednesday night.
“After this is over, Sean, at the appropriate time, I am going to go public and talk about the abuse of the political and justice system. People have to know the true story. If they can go after me, they can go after anyone in this country,” Arpaio said.
He elaborated on what he had said in an interview earlier in the day with Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto.
“I’m being charged with a misdemeanor, contempt of court. The sentence would be the same for a barking dog,” he told Cavuto. By charging Arpaio with a misdemeanor, prosecutors circumvented the requirement for a jury trial.
“(The Justice Department) announced this the day before early voting in (2016), then they charged me two weeks before you go to the polls, so this is strictly a political hit, and I’ll be talking about that in the future, because if they did this to me they can do it anybody,” he added.
Arpaio is waiting on a pardon by President Trump. The president said that the timing had to be right, and did not present it when he was in Arizona last week. Trump did say that, “Arpaio would be fine.”
“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” Trump told “Fox News Sunday” earlier this month. “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot, and I hate to see what has happened to him.” Trump later retweeted the article about his comments.
Arpaio first came to national prominence in the early 1990’s when, as newly elected sheriff of Maricopa County, he pushed the construction of Tent City — an open-air jail he viewed as not only a solution to prison overcrowding but also a way to burnish his tough-on-crime persona.
“We’re going to do it, and it’s time to get tough around here,” Arpaio said in 1993 when Tent City was unveiled, “And to get tough, you have to have a place to put the bad guys.”
Arpaio also made prisoners wear pink underwear and pink handcuffs as a way of shaming them (and to stop them from stealing each others’ clothes). In the mid-1990’s, he reinstated chain gangs, including for women and juveniles. He pushed for every mug shot to be posted online. He cut down prison meals to two a day and banned the use of salt and pepper to save money.
Sheriff Arpaio’s reputation, which he proudly embraced,as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” made him a coveted endorser as Republicans more aggressively embraced hard-line immigration policies over the past decade.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio continues to be a huge thorn in the liberal side. I cannot wait to watch him swipe at Obama.
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