- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Donald Trump hinted — well, more than hinted, really — during his Phoenix rally he was going to pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio soon.

And well he should. What happened to Arpaio was a political hit job.

The 85-year-old former sheriff was convicted a month ago of misdemeanor criminal contempt by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton — a Bill Clinton appointee. The case stemmed from Arpaio’s refusal to cease and desist what his political opponents called “racial profiling” on immigration-related enforcement matters that was practiced during his tenure as county sheriff.

He was just sentenced to six months in jail.

What’s even more interesting about the case — and more politically hatchet-like — is that Arpaio’s attorneys petitioned like crazy for the case to be heard by jury, not judge. But Bolton said no, and no again. Why?

Think about it. Arpaio served as elected sheriff for 20-plus years. A jury trial by his peers likely would’ve seen him cleared of all charges. Federal prosecutors serving under the Barack Obama administration very likely changed Arpaio’s charges to a misdemeanor in order to avoid the constitutional mandate to provide a jury.

As Breitbart noted: “Because Arpaio was charged only with a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of six months in jail, the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee him a right to trial by a jury of his peers.”

So bench trial it was — and Bolton came through for the feds with the maximum six months.

Trump, speaking from Arizona, touched a nerve.

“So was Sheriff Joe convicted of doing his job? He should have had a jury,” Trump said.

And he added this: “I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine.”

Quite right. Arpaio did indeed face the wrath of the liberal political and pro-amnesty world for simply, as Trump said, “doing his job.” For that, he was convicted. But for that, he’ll go down in history as a true patriot of principle. And now, he should be pardoned by the president. It’s time to send a message to the left that carting a law-and-order torch will no longer make the carrier a target for political takedown.

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