What more can Trump do to demean the Rule of Law in America?
Trump did not consult Sessions or the Department of Justice before issuing the Arpaio pardon. Instead, Trump had decided to pardon Arpaio if convicted well before the errant sheriff stood trial.
As Joseph Arpaio’s federal case headed toward trial this past spring, President Trump wanted to act to help the former Arizona county sheriff who had become a campaign-trail companion and a partner in their crusade against illegal immigration.
The president asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions whether it would be possible for the government to drop the criminal case against Arpaio, but was advised that would be inappropriate, according to three people with knowledge of the conversation.
Trump’s Friday-evening decision to issue his first pardon for Arpaio was the culmination of a five-year political friendship with roots in the “birther” movement to undermine President Barack Obama. In an extraordinary exercise of presidential power, Trump bypassed the traditional review process to ensure that Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court, would face no time in prison.
Trump’s pardon, issued without consulting the Justice Department, raised a storm of protest over the weekend, including from some fellow Republicans, and threatens to become a stain on the president’s legacy. His effort to see if the case could be dropped showed a troubling disregard for the traditional wall between the White House and the Justice Department, and taken together with similar actions could undermine respect for the rule of law, experts said.
Former White House counsel to president Obama and New York University law prof, Bob Bauer, anticipated the pardon in an op-ed in Foreign Policy. Bauer contends what Trump has done has the makings of a constitutional crisis.
Any president considering a pardon in the normal course would solicit and make publicly available the recommendation of the Department of Justice. The Department, however — and here we are speaking specifically of Trump’s Department — secured the very conviction for criminal contempt that would be the subject of the pardon. Now, a president can ignore the departmental recommendation: The power is his, of course, and not the Attorney General’s. But presidents are sensitive to the Department’s recommendations, and for good reason. The pardon power sits uneasily with the belief that ours is “a government of laws, not of men,” and the DOJ’s participation is one check on the abuse of this extraordinary authority. In answering the call for public accountability President Trump would have every incentive to involve and obtain the support of the Department. His failure to do so, or his proceeding over the Department’s objections, would ring a loud alarm.
Another nail in Trump's "Impeachment Coffin."
Joe Farquharson sent this link so you can refresh your memory about Joe Arpaio. Sheriff Joe wasn't just some desert racist. In this and so much more this guy really is a poster boy for the alt.right and white supremacists. And Trump is specifically playing to this crowd.