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Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona was infamous for his tough approach to policing. At his prison facilities he gained notoriety for his tough regime of discipline without special privileges.
Recently, Arpaio was convicted of Contempt of Court for refusing to obey a court order designed to force Arpaio’s deputies from specifically targeting illegal aliens in its jurisdiction.
The maximum sentence for such a conviction would have been 6 months behind bars.
Today, Donald Trump announced that he has invoked his power of Presidential pardon to absolve Arpaio of any wrong doing.
I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He kept Arizona safe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2017
Arpaio who was a strong Trump supporter during the campaign stated,
“I’m very appreciative of what the president has done.Right now, I have to thank the president for standing by me and standing by law enforcement. And I’m very humbled”.
As the White House is increasingly staffed by ex-military leaders, it is becoming increasingly clear that while US Foreign Policy is now mostly controlled by the Department of Defence rather than the President’s remaining civilian staff or the State Department, Trump is continuing to exercise his prerogative in domestic affairs through executive orders and special Presidential privileges deriving from the US Constitution.
The public may well be witnessing a kind of Faustian bargain in which Trump has largely surrendering his foreign policy campaign promises, resigning himself to allow the military to largely dictate the trajectory of foreign policy in exchange for military men backing up Trump’s personal decisions in domestic affairs, decisions which generally remain deeply unpopular among the neo-liberal dominated Democratic party and some Republicans.
If this is the case, a new coalition of military hawks and domestic policy makers who are more in line with ‘candidate Trump’ may emerge as the central power brokers of the White House. This would appear especially the case as General John F. Kelly consolidates his new role as Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff.