‘Pardon Joe! Pardon Joe!’ Phoenix rally crowd erupts in support for former sheriff Joe Arpaio as Trump says ‘he’s going to be just fine but I won’t do it tonight’

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
By Paul Martin

President Trump said Tuesday night in Phoenix that he still might pardon Joe Arpaio, who faces up to six months in jail for defying a judge’s order
Arpaio faces an October sentencing date for failing to put a halt to patrols that targeted Latino immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally
‘Pardon Joe!’ a crowd of thousands chanted, before Trump asked: ‘Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?’
The White House had thrown cold water on the idea, saying earlier in the day that there would be ‘no discussion of that today at any point’
Trump defense of Arpaio was part of pushing for illegal immigration agenda, saying he would ‘build the wall’ even at the cost of shutting down government

By David Martosko, US Political Editor
23 August 2017

President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday night in Arizona that he might issue a presidential pardon in the future to former Phoenix-area sheriff Joe Arpaio – just hours after the White House appeared to throw cold water on the idea.

Arpaio, 85, will be sentenced this fall for defying a judge’s 2011 order demanding that he stop sanctioning traffic stops carried out on the basis of whether vehicle occupants appeared to be illegal immigrants.

‘Do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe?’ Trump asked a crowd of approximately 10,000 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

At the mention of his name a great cry went up, comparable to the intensity of volume that greeted the president himself.

‘Pardon Joe! Pardon Joe!’ they chanted.

‘Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?’ Trump asked, referring to a lone judge’s verdict.

‘He should have had a jury, but I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine.’

‘But I won’t do it tonight,’ Trump said, because I don’t want to cause any controversy.’

The White House had said earlier in the day that he wouldn’t address the pardon question.

Trump spoke broadly about his campaign promises focusing on illegal immigration, saying that he was ‘cracking down on these sanctuary cities’ and ‘building a wall on the southern border – which is absolutely necessary.’

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