House panel rejects request to probe Arpaio pardon
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 Goodlatte (R-Va.) asking Republicans to “convene an oversight hearing on this controversial pardon and surrounding events as soon as possible.”
“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 Ryan (R-Wis.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), also said they disagreed with the move.
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