A lawyer for former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by President Trump for his conviction in a racial-profiling case, says Democratic Congress members trying to reverse the pardon are posing arguments that are “wholly without merit” and “unconstitutional.”
Larry Klayman charged the “frivolous” claims are based on the Democrats’ “prejudicial, political agenda” and a “deep-seated hatred of Arpaio and the president of the United States.”
More than 20 Democrats have filed a brief asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the pardon.
Klayman filed a motion in the case to sanction, among others, Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.; Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.; Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz.; and Raul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz.
Arpaio argues that the court order finding him liable for the misdemeanor should be vacated as moot because of the pardon. His critics demand that the charge remain on his record and that his pardon be reversed.
Klayman said in the brief filed by the Democrats, “in their zeal to use Sheriff Arpaio as a whipping boy to not just trash him but also to trash President Trump over the pardon and his anti-illegal immigration policies and actions in general, they nonsensically argue that presidents do not have the power to pardon criminal contempt findings issued by federal judges.”
“A simple reading of Supreme Court precedent … shows the frivolousness of this contrived argument,” he said.
“These leftist anti-Arpaio-Trump House Democrats have no shame! It is time that they, the majority of whom have law degrees, are held to account for their politically motivated and frivolous actions, only designed to further harm the president of the United States and his ardent supporter Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in order to influence the 2020 elections,” Klayman said.
“The Dems obviously love illegal immigration, as in many states, such as California and New York to name just a few, illegals can easily procure drivers licenses, register to vote and then fraudulently vote. Nadler, Swalwell, Gallego, Grijalva and the other hack congresspersons who filed their amicus brief, believe that illegals will favor their open border immigration policies and help elect Democrats to retain control over the House of Representatives, and reclaim the White House and U.S. Senate in 2020.”
He argued it is the law that counts, however, not the ‘inter-stellar wishes’ of these political hacks.”
“These congresspersons must be sanctioned and reprimanded by the Ninth Circuit for this blatant abuse and misuse of the legal system. Our system of justice has already suffered enough damage of late, and does not need Nadler, Swalwell, Gallego, Grijalva and their leftist ‘comrades’ to make a further mockery of it, thereby further undermining the confidence of the American people in the rule of law, much more the sanctity of the Constitution.”
While a judge found Arpaio liable for a misdemeanor in the court fight over illegal aliens, the Constitution authorizes the president to issue a pardon, he argued in the filing.
He quoted from a previous Supreme Court ruling that said: “A pardon reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offense and the guilty of the offender; and when the pardon is full, it releases the punishment and blots out of existence the guilt, so that in the eye of the law the offender is as innocent as if he never committed the offense. If granted before conviction, it prevents …. The penalties and disabilities consequent upon conviction from attaching; if granted after conviction, it removes the penalties and disabilities, and restores him to all his civil rights; it makes him, as it were, a new man, and gives him a new credit and capacity.”
In fact, Klayman wrote, Congress is “powerless” to “vitiate a presidential pardon.”
The members of Congress, then, “knew or had reason to know that their motion and proposed amici curiae brief was not only frivolous but also pursued in bad faith, as they were filed only for political purpose and to try to further damage Mr. Arpaio, a[n] honorably discharged military veteran and six-time elected sheriff.”
Federal law calls for sanctions against “any attorney or other person … who so multiples the proceedings in any case unreasonably and vexatiously may be required by the court to satisfy personally the excess costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees reasonably incurred because of such conduct.”
Klayman told the appeals court that is exactly what the members of Congress have been doing.
He wrote that the members of Congress “vexatiously multiplied the pleadings with a motion that was unnecessary – and contrary to the law,” which required Arpaio and his counsel “to spend a considerable amount of time and financial resources preparing a response.”
It also “waste[d] the valuable resources of this court.”
“This honorable court should not just reprimand the amici curiae and their counsel, it should also report those amici curiae who are licensed members of state boards to their respective bar disiplinary counsels and recommend that they be reprimanded for acting in bad faith for political purposes.”
He said theirbrief should be stricken from the record and Arpaio be awarded attorneys’ fees and costs for the work it required.
Arpaio was convicted of contempt in a prosecution pursued throughout the years of the Obama administration for overstepping the bounds set by the courts in his pursuit of criminals in the United States.
The White House, in the pardon, said, “In 1992, the problems facing his community pulled Arpaio out of retirement to return to law enforcement. He ran and won a campaign to become sheriff of Maricopa County.
“Throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.”
klayman said Arpaio “is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation, he is worthy candidate for a presidential pardon.”
Known as “America’s toughest sheriff” for his no-nonsense approach to law enforcement and his strong opposition to illegal immigration, Arpaio was the first to sue Obama over his 2014 administrative orders, which allowed another 4 or 5 million illegal aliens to remain in the United States.
Arpaio had been at odds with the Obama administration since its beginning, mostly over illegal immigration. The sheriff sued because of the impact illegal aliens have on the safety and security of his county’s residents. Federal officials, in turn, have accused him of not treating illegals properly.
His unusual approach to law enforcement has earned him repeated election victories.
For example, he established chain gangs for inmates to contribute thousands of dollars of free labor to communities, painting over graffiti and cleaning streets.
He banned smoking, coffee, movies, pornographic magazines and unrestricted TV in jails. His costs per meal for inmates ran between 15 cents and 40 cents. He provided pink underwear for inmates to wear, after learning that inmates were stealing white jailhouse boxers.
He also posted mugshots online to serve as a deterrent and he was behind the only official law enforcement investigation of Barack Obama’s birth certificate. His investigators concluded that the birth certificate Obama presented at the White House as an official government document almost certainly is a forgery.