- The Washington Times - Monday, August 28, 2017

Despite President Trump’s pardon, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is still mounting a legal battle, demanding a judge expunge any record of there ever having been a conviction in the first place.

In court papers filed Monday, Mr. Arpaio’s lawyers said he was still fighting the conviction at the time of the pardon. Since the judgment was never finalized — he had asked a new trial or for the ruling to be vacated, and had threatened an appeal — it would be unfair to leave the conviction on his record, they said.

If the judge doesn’t comply, Mr. Arpaio’s team said they’ll fight the case to the Supreme Court — even though there’s no chance the former Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff would do any jail time.

“Because the President issued a pardon before sentencing and judgment — and clearly, before the conclusion of any appeals — the Court is obligated to vacate its verdict and all other orders in this matter, and to dismiss the case with prejudice,” the lawyers said.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton convicted Mr. Arpaio of criminal contempt of court, finding he willfully ignored another federal judge’s 2011 order halting a traffic stop program that targeted illegal immigrants.

The former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, argued his lawyers told him continuing the program didn’t necessarily run afoul of the 2011 order, so he wasn’t intending to violate it. He says Judge Bolton took testimony out of context to reach her ruling, and said the case should have been decided by a jury, not a single judge.

His lawyers had asked the judge to overturn the conviction or grant him a new trial, and had promised an appeal to a higher court as well.

Mr. Trump’s decision Friday to grant a pardon means the former sheriff won’t have to serve any time. But it does not undo the unfairness of the conviction, his lawyers said.

“If the Court does not vacate the Defendant’s conviction, then Defendant will certainly pursue his appeals to achieve that, which would be — to put it bluntly — a waste of everyone’s time and money,” the lawyers said.

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