Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted President Trump over his pardon of former Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, saying it “undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law.”
“Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders,” McCain said in a statement.
“The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions.”
The White House announced Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio on Friday night in a statement.
“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.
“Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is a worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”
Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt after he disobeyed a federal judge’s order to stop racially profiling individuals suspected of illegally entering the U.S.
McCain’s counterpart in the Senate, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) also criticized Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio.
“Regarding the Arpaio pardon, I would have preferred that the President honor the judicial process and let it take its course,” Flake wrote on Twitter.