Joe Arpaio said it was “sad” that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other congressional Republicans joined Democrats in bashing President Donald Trump for his pardon of the former Arizona sheriff. He spoke during an interview Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
Trump’s Friday announcement that he would be pardoning Arpaio — who was found in contempt of court in July — caused a massive uproar in the mainstream media and from politicians on both sides of the aisle. Several prominent GOP lawmakers joined Democrats in denouncing the president’s decision to pardon Arpaio, including Ryan and Arizona’s two anti-Trump senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake.
“The speaker of the House is speaking out with his garbage. Why hasn’t he called me?” Arpaio said, noting that Ryan has never called him to hear his side of the controversy. “How come [Ryan] doesn’t respect what they did against me in this court system?”
Ryan spokesman Doug Andres said in a statement Friday that the House GOP leader disagreed with the president’s pardon.
“The Speaker does not agree with this decision … Law enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States,” read the statement. “We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon.”
But Arpaio argued that instead of bashing him and Trump, Congress should open an investigation that could “really dig into” the judges who passed sentences on him, “their background, and what they did.”
“That’s what [Ryan] should be doing,” he argued. “But no, he’s not going to do that. He wants to go against the president, and that’s sad.”
Arpaio, a loyal supporter of Trump’s throughout his presidential bid, served as Maricopa County sheriff for 23 years until he was ousted in 2016. During the last few years of his service, Arpaio fielded several civil rights lawsuits accusing him of racially profiling Latinos in his dogged quest to enforce U.S. immigration laws.
In particular, Arpaio has taken issue with U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton’s verdict holding him in contempt of court after being denied a trial by jury under the Sixth Amendment.
“One day you’re going to know the true story about this court system and these two judges,” he said. “I’ve been a federal law enforcement official for 25, 26 years. I’ve never seen this occur in the judicial system. Never. And this story has to get out. Nobody will print the real story. And we’ll get it out.”
Arpaio said he blames liberal billionaire George Soros and the Department of Justice for his 2016 loss in Maricopa County.
“George Soros pumped in — you remember him — pumped in $4 million against me. And then the Department of Justice, the day before early voting, said they’re going to charge me with criminal contempt,” Arpaio said. “And then two weeks later, when you were going to the polls, they charged me. That’s against the policy of the Department of Justice, especially when they were voting and they hit me with this misdemeanor.”
“It’s so biased, you would never believe, never. And it’s out there, but nobody would print the thing, nobody will talk about it,” he added. “So it kind of makes me very discouraged about what’s going on.”
But Arpaio said he was filled with nothing but gratitude for Trump.
“But I want to thank the president. I’m very humbled. I didn’t ask him for [the pardon]. I supported him two years ago here in Phoenix at the first rally. I said then he will be our next president. I guess I was right,” he said, noting that his “big concern” over the whole pardoning controversy is what his detractors “did to the president.”
“You’ve got a few of the Republicans. It’s funny, they’re saying even the Republican Party is against the pardon. What — four, five people? On one hand you can count them. That’s not the whole party. You know who those people are, who those senators are. So what is this?” Arpaio asked.
“But I wish the Republican Party and the Democrats would work with the president and then get things done. That’s sad,” he said. “Whatever [Trump] does, they criticize. It’s ridiculous. But he’s a winner. He’s tough. And he’ll come out on top.”
Noting that Trump announced his pardon on his wife’s birthday, Arpaio said “it was a good gift for her, too.”
“I took her out to eat spaghetti, and I couldn’t even get to it,” he said. “The media came pounding me.”
(photo credit, homepage and article images: Gage Skidmore, Flickr)