On Friday night President Donald Trump pardoned controversial former sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt.
“Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration,” the White House said in a statement. “Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”
Arpaio, who was known as "America's Toughest Sheriff," was convicted of criminal contempt earlier this year after violating judge's order to stop racial profiling Latinos. The 85-year-old was scheduled to be sentenced on October 5 and faced up to six months in jail.
According to The Arizona Republic, the controversial sheriff, who is known for his anti-immigration stance, received the news about the pardon at 4 p.m. when his lawyer paid a visit at his home. Arpaio revealed he and his family were going to celebrate with some spaghetti with calamari at a favorite Italian restaurant.
Thank you @realdonaldtrump for seeing my conviction for what it is: a political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department!
— Joe Arpaio (@RealSheriffJoe) August 26, 2017
Earlier this month, the former businessman hinted at the pardon when he told Fox News he was "seriously considering" pardoning the former Arizona Sheriff. He also added, "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.”
This is Donald Trump's first presidential pardon.
This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.