DOJ backs Arpaio's push to have conviction vacated

DOJ backs Arpaio's push to have conviction vacated
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) is backing former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s push to get his criminal conviction dismissed weeks after he was pardoned by President Trump.

BuzzFeed News reported that the DOJ filed court papers Monday that support Arpaio’s request to throw out his contempt conviction, calling the case “moot.”

“The presidential pardon removes any punitive consequences that would otherwise flow from Defendant’s non-final conviction and therefore renders the case moot,” DOJ lawyers wrote in the filing.

The agency argues that Arpaio’s conviction was rendered “moot” by “the unpredictable grace of a presidential pardon” and said it would be “just and appropriate” for the conviction to be vacated.

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The White House announced Trump’s pardon of Arpaio in a statement in late August.

“Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration,” the statement read.

“Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is a worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”

The controversial former sheriff, an early supporter of Trump’s presidential campaign, was found guilty of criminal contempt in July after he willfully violated a federal judge’s order to stop racial profiling.

Arpaio called on U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to reverse his conviction several days after Trump pardoned him, and the former sheriff promoted a campaign to raise money for his legal defense fund the night Trump pardoned him.