President Donald Trump has pardoned former Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio from his criminal contempt conviction.
The White House announced the pardon Friday evening in a news release that recounted Arpaio’s lengthy career of “admirable service” in federal and local law enforcement and called him “a worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”
Reached moments after the announcement, Arpaio told the Arizona Republic , “I’m very appreciative of the president issuing that pardon. It shows how he backs up law enforcement.”
Arpaio, who lost a 2016 reelection bid ending 24 years in office, also hinted at a political comeback: “I don’t know what I’m going to do politically. I told my wife that I was through with politics. But now I’ve decided I’m not through with politics because of what’s happening. I didn’t ask for a pardon. It has nothing to do with a pardon. I’ve been saying this for the last couple of months. I’ve got a lot to offer.”
Arpaio, 85, was convicted of criminal contempt on July 31, and was scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5. He faced up to six months in jail.
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