ADDENDUM: On Monday, June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) denied Sheriff Arpaio’s request to expedite consideration of his petition for a writ of mandamus. With this order, SCOTUS has allowed Sheriff Arpaio’s trial for criminal contempt to proceed unimpeded. SCOTUS, however, did not rule on the substantive issues raised by Arpaio in his petition. This means the substantive issues – including whether Arpaio should have been afforded a jury trial, and whether Arpaio was charged under the wrong statute simply because the statute of limitations had expired on the correct statute – to be raised again should Arpaio appeal to SCOTUS the District Court’s decision in the case.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After failing to clean the DOJ swamp of attorneys still loyal to President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Trump are standing silent as former Sheriff Joe Arpaio begins a criminal trial in Maricopa County, Arizona, that could send the 85-year-old famed law enforcement officer to prison for contempt of court.
Surely President Trump recalls that Sheriff Arpaio campaigned vigorously for him in the 2016 election.
But, now still fighting a case brought against him by the Obama administration, Sheriff Arpaio is fighting alone.
The Obama DOJ came down on Arpaio like a ton of bricks because Sheriff Joe insisted upon enforcing immigration laws Barack Obama and Eric Holder wanted ignored.
Now, President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have turned a deaf ear to Arpaio’s repeated requests for help from a president he helped elect.
Arpaio has a petition before the Supreme Court arguing that federal prosecutors charged him under the wrong statute simply because the statute of limitations on the applicable law had run out.
Arpaio’s mandamus petition to the Supreme Court also objected that the U.S. District Court has refused to grant him a jury trial.
So far, the White House and the DOJ have ignored repeated attempts by Arpaio’s attorneys to intervene to postpone the start of Arpaio’s bench trial, now scheduled to begin Monday, June 26, at least until after the Supreme Court rules on his mandamus request.
Right now, Arpaio faces a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton – a federal judge appointed by President Clinton.
Judge Bolton will be asked to decide whether or not Arpaio violated the court order U.S. District Judge Murray G. Snow imposed in 2013, putting strict rules on MSCO immigration-related traffic stops.
As a footnote, Arpaio tried unsuccessfully to get Judge Snow removed from the case for improper meetings and communications with a court-appointed monitor appointed by Judge Snow to oversee the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).
With Trump and Sessions claiming credit for reducing the flow of illegal immigrants into the country, how ironic is it that Sheriff Joe faces a prison term because the White House and the DOJ refuse to intervene on behalf of a law enforcement officer whose only crime was to enforce these very immigration laws?
Arpaio’s legal problems trace back to a 2007 case involving a Maricopa County traffic case that developed into an opportunity for the politically-biased Obama DOJ to disgrace and punish Sheriff Arpaio simply because he had chosen to take seriously his responsibility to enforce immigration laws.
The individual in the Obama DOJ who targeted Arpaio for removal from office and incarceration was Tom Perez, the foul-mouth, self-proclaimed “open borders” radical who is currently the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Previously, Perez served as Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division from 2009-2013.
In his DOJ position, Perez pursued Arpaio with a vengeance.
On Jan. 5, 2012, when the Department of Justice dropped the initial criminal case against Arpaio in favor of pursuing the civil case, the Department of Justice sent the author an email, explaining, “If MCSO wants to debate the facts rather than fixing the problems stated in our findings, we will do so by way of litigation.”
As I explained in an article published by the Law Enforcement Charitable Foundation, Inc., the Obama administration unleashed Perez to utilize as a club in the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, authored by then Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware.
That law gave the Obama administration under Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch a club with which to “police the police.”
The club functioned in the form of “consent decrees” that allowed the leftist “open borders” Obama DOJ eight years to intimidate and force into submission any state and local government law enforcement authority that dared to enforce immigration laws.
The goal was to bring various civil rights charges against law enforcement officers like Arpaio who refused to get the message that illegal immigrants were to be protected in their unofficial status of future Democratic Party voters.
Thorough court-ordered “consent decrees” the Obama administration DOJ forced Sheriff Arpaio’s office in Maricopa County to accept a court-ordered mandate that effectively put the MCSO under the direction of a court-appointed federal monitor.
On Oct. 2, 2013, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow ruled that Arpaio and his agency had relied on racial profiling and illegal detentions to target Hispanic.
Snow ordered Arpaio to make mandatory changes in MCSO office law enforcement procedures, requiring officers to radio the basis for each traffic stop before contacting people in the vehicle, the video recording of all traffic stops, increased training for and monitoring of MCSO office employees, and the implementation of comprehensive record keeping.
On May 12, 2016, Judge Snow held Arpaio in civil contempt of federal court, ruling that Arpaio an three of his aides violated the judge’s 2013 order that was meant to curtail “racial profiling” by MCSO officers.
Then, on Aug. 19, 2016, Judge Snow ruled that Arpaio needed to face prosecution for criminal contempt of court because he had intentionally disregarded the federal District Court’s authority by continuing MCSO police policies that Judge Snow ruled involved systematic racial profiling.
Largely as a result of the adverse publicity from facing criminal contempt charges, Arpaio lost on Nov. 8, 2016, his seventh bid to be elected Maricopa County Sheriff.
The challenger, Paul Penzone, a Democrat and a former Phoenix police sergeant who lost to Arpaio in 2012, won the sheriff’s election, 54.9 percent to 45.1 percent, running on a campaign designed to be sympathetic to Arizona’s growing Hispanic voter base.
The travesty is that Sheriff Joe Arpaio, now at the end of a distinguished decades-long law enforcement career, should be embraced by President Trump and AG Sessions as a hero.
It is still not too late.
The nation is watching.
The question is whether President Trump and Attorney General Sessions continue to stand by watching?
If so, former President Obama, along with former Attorneys General Holder and Lynch, will get to join DNC chair Tom Perez in celebrating, as Sheriff Arpaio is handcuffed, put in an orange jump-suit, and carted off to die in prison, simply because he dared defy a La Raza attorney in the Obama Justice Department.