Friday, September 1, 2017

CONYERS & House Judiciary Dems Urge Goodlatte To Take Up Trump's Pardon Of Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Committee Dems Send 5th Request to Chairman for Oversight of Trump Administration

Washington, D.C. – Today, all House Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), wrote to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (D-VA) to ask that he investigate Trump’s pardon of controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio and related events.

The letter is below.

In July, Joe Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt after years of racially profiling and arresting individuals based on their perceived immigration status. In today’s letter to Goodlatte, the members wrote, “Sheriff Arpaio was convicted for criminal contempt of court because he ignored orders from a federal judge to stop engaging in racial profiling.  The pardon not only disregards the rule of law, it directly flouts the courts themselves by signaling that it is acceptable for parties to ignore court orders.”

The letter notes that for “125 years, presidents have worked through the Pardon Attorney to ensure that the power of clemency is fairly applied.  President Trump chose to work around this mechanism and ignore DOJ policy calling for a waiting period of five years or more before considering a pardon application and the expression of regret or remorse by the applicant.” It further details that “before resorting to a full pardon, President Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to simply drop the criminal case against Sheriff Arpaio,” pointing out that the House Judiciary Committee  “has long defended the view that presidents should avoid involvement in specific criminal cases in order to avoid even the perception of politicizing the administration of justice.”

The Members continued, “It is also our Committee’s unique and pressing responsibility to conduct oversight of the President’s use of executive power—particularly when that power is expressed as a pardon that only serves to endorse the transgressions committed by the offender.  If we do not examine this use of the pardon power, we fear that the Committee will be seen by our constituents—and by future generations—as also having endorsed the Sheriff’s conduct.” 

Today’s letter was signed by every Democratic member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, which includes: Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Karen Bass (D-CA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Brad Schneider (D-IL). 
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