Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus Democrats say more unemployment benefits needed in wake of record unemployment claims Democrats fear coronavirus impact on November turnout MORE (D-Ore.) on Saturday called President Trump's pardon of controversial former Sheriff Joe Arpaio a violation of the president's oath of office.

"The Arpaio pardon says, if you are a law-enforcement official who supports Trump, break the law & he'll protect you," Wyden wrote in a tweet.

"This strikes at the heart of rule of law in America. It violates his oath of office," he added. 


Most Democrats and civil rights organizations have argued that Trump was within his right to pardon Arpaio while blasting his decision to pardon the controversial former sheriff.

Arpaio, 85, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., was pardoned Friday after being convicted of criminal contempt for disobeying a judge's order to stop racially profiling Latinos when making immigration arrests.

Pending his scheduled sentencing hearing Oct. 5, Arpaio faced a maximum of up to six months in prison.

Trump announced on Twitter late Friday that he had given a full pardon to Arpaio. Under Article II of the Constitution, a U.S. president can give pardons for any offense against the U.S., except in the case of impeachment charges.

Some Republicans have criticized Trump's decision to pardon Arpaio. Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDemocratic super PAC targets McSally over coronavirus response GOP senator suspending campaign fundraising, donating paycheck amid coronavirus pandemic Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much MORE (R-Ariz.) claimed Friday that Trump's pardon "undermines his claim for the respect of the rule of law."

"Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders,” McCain said in a statement.