House panel rejects request to probe Arpaio pardon

House panel rejects request to probe Arpaio pardon
© Greg Nash

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are rejecting a Democratic request to investigate President Trump's controversial pardon of former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio, according to a new report.

The Washington Examiner reported on Tuesday that an aide to the panel said "the committee does not currently have plans to hold a hearing on this matter," citing the president’s “broad authority” to issue pardons.

The report follows a letter from House Democrats earlier Wednesday to House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteLawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program House votes to crack down on undocumented immigrants with gang ties House Judiciary Dems want panel to review gun silencer bill MORE (R-Va.) asking Republicans to "convene an oversight hearing on this controversial pardon and surrounding events as soon as possible."

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"Although the President has wide constitutional authority to issue pardons, there is also ample precedent for our Committee to review pardons as controversial as this one," Democrats wrote.

"If we do not examine this use of pardon power, we fear that the Committee will be seen by our constituents — and by future generations — as also having endorsed the Sheriff's conduct."

The letter was signed by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and 16 other lawmakers.

Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt earlier this year for violating a judge's order to stop racially profiling Latinos at traffic stops for the purpose of immigration checks.

Trump signed an order pardoning him on Friday after weeks of speculation.

Some Republicans, including House Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan: Graham-Cassidy 'best, last chance' to repeal ObamaCare Ryan: Americans want to see Trump talking with Dem leaders Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Wis.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), also said they disagreed with the move.