‘Sheriff Joe is one of the worst’: Bush ethics lawyer blasts Trump for pardon of ‘lawless’ Arpaio
Richard Painter, who served as the head of ethics for President George W. Bush, was furious with President Donald Trump’s pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Friday.
“This is really quite shocking,” Painter said. “Ninety-nine percent of police officers are great police officers. Ninety-nine percent of sheriffs. They put their lives on the line every day for us. You have a very small number of bad cops. Sheriff Joe is one of the worst.”
He went on to count off the systematic way that Arpaio discriminated against minorities, which is something he said that stirs up anti-police sentiment.
“He disobeyed the order of a court,” Painter explained. “This is a country where we have a rule of law. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. I’ve been a Republican for a number of years. Contempt of court is a crime. The president of the United States should not be giving out a pardon to a lawless sheriff who conducted himself this way.”
Painter went on to say that he finds the whole thing shocking.
“This is an attempt to appeal to a very small percentage of the American people who favor racial discrimination, discrimination against blacks and Mexicans and others and that’s not the Republican Party of today,” Painter continued. “That may be the direction the so-called alt-right wants to take us. That’s not the Republican Party today. That’s not America. I’m troubled by the president.”
Painter later said that Trump’s advisors have already been saying that he will pardon anyone associated with the Russian investigation if something illegal transpired. He thinks this is a projection of things to come.
Watch the full commentary below: