A few days ago my blog partner Shawn Mitchell posted that Trump’s Arpaio pardon was the right call. He presented a reasoned argument in favor of that.
Let me counter that with something visceral – I think it reeks.
Joe Arpaio being found guilty of evading the court order of a judge is a long the same lines as convicting Al Capone of tax evasion. We know he did much worse but it could not be proven in a court of law – so they nailed him on what they could. Arpaio’s reputation in Arizona is not a good one – and that is true among Republicans and conservatives as well as Democrats and Leftist. One can reasonably argue that the allegations against Arpaio are unproven and that would be accurate – to the same extent that the allegations against Capone were unproven.
I am not accusing Joe Arpaio of being a Mafioso and killing people and extortion and all of what Capone undoubtedly did – but the analogy holds that they convicted him of what they could rather than all he did. Arpaio has the reputation of flouting the law for political gain. That accusation is consistent regardless of party or ideology or race. This amounts to more than just a ‘where there is smoke there is fire’ argument. These allegations are overwhelming, they come from across the political spectrum and one would have to conclude that if they have no merit then congressman, senators, mayors, judges, lawyers and everyday citizens are all corrupt and conspired to sully the reputation of Arpaio. We all have confidence that if you were going to find a group of corrupt people it would most likely be within the ranks of congressman, senators, mayors, judges, and lawyers – but when people who agree on nothing else all agree Arpaio is corrupt we should all sit up and take notice.
We are left with the only logical choice being that either Arpaio is corrupt as hell or all of these other people are corrupt as hell in accusing him of being corrupt.
I will not argue that some of those accusers are not corrupt, I will not even argue that those accusers are not corrupt to a man but what are the odds in the face of evidence which falls just short of that required to convict that Arpaio is not corrupt? I would say nil.
Trump pardoning Arpaio stinks of politics – not justice.