Sheriff Joe may still face charges despite Trump’s pardon

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Despite President Trump’s pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton is deliberating whether the pardon warrants Arpaio’s conviction being thrown out altogether.

Bolton wrote in a filing last week that she’s unsure she can vacate Arpaio’s criminal contempt conviction because there has been no official sentencing yet. As a result, she may only dismiss the case. Bolton further notes a presidential pardon does not immediately undo, eliminate or reverse a conviction.

Bolton may be considering tossing the case, despite Arpaio’s request that the case is eliminated and the conviction thrown out. If she refuses, the guilty conviction will appear on Arpaio’s record.

Rightfully so, Arpaio is taking issue with Bolton’s challenging of the presidential pardon. “Does she believe in the president’s pardon? I think the pardon said everything. So, if she wants to do it, OK. And then, we’ll appeal all the way to the Supreme Court,” Arpaio said.

Arpaio spoke to Fox News in Las Vegas Saturday night when he received the “Courage Under Fire” award from the Conservative Leadership Conference. Arpaio says he is wholeheartedly grateful for the presidential pardon, mentioning he never requested one. He says his pardon is attributed to his relationship with Trump. “He [Trump] knows I’m not guilty,” Arpaio said.

The White House released the following statement at the time of Arpaio’s pardon:

“Throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation, he is worthy candidate for a presidential pardon.”

Arpaio places a majority of the blame for his conviction on the Obama Justice Department, claiming they were engaged in a “witch hunt.” Bolton, while appointed by former President Bill Clinton, also served under Bush and Obama.

“This all happened under them … when they started this prosecution,” said Arpaio.

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