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Dem senator slams Pence for praising 'unlawful racist' Arpaio

Dem senator slams Pence for praising 'unlawful racist' Arpaio
© Greg Nash

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzTech CEOs clash with lawmakers in contentious hearing Bitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Senate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination MORE (D-Hawaii) on Wednesday denounced former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and criticized Vice President Pence for lauding him as a champion of "the rule of law."

"Joe Arpaio is an unlawful racist and it is enormously important that the Vice President of the United States just lavished praise on him," Schatz tweeted.

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The senator's tweet came a day after Pence showered praise on Arpaio during an appearance in Arizona, calling the former Maricopa County sheriff a "great friend" of President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE and a "tireless champion of strong borders and the rule of law."

Arpaio, who is running for the Arizona GOP nomination for Senate, was previously convicted for ignoring a judge's order to stop racially profiling Hispanic people at traffic stops for immigration checks.

Trump pardoned the former sheriff last year. Despite the pardon, the judge who oversaw Arpaio's case declined to vacate her ruling against him.

Arpaio appealed in January to have his conviction cleared, arguing that the judge "refused to give the Sheriff a trial by jury” and that her “verdict was completely unsupported by the evidence, among numerous other reasons.”