Trump grants pardon to ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona

Donald Trump, Joe Arpaio
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by Joe Arpaio, the then sheriff of metro Phoenix, during a news conference in Marshalltown, Iowa. Trump isn't expected to take action Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, on a possible pardon of Arpaio's conviction for intentionally disobeying a judge's order in an immigration case. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the president would take no action Tuesday on Arpaio as Trump plans to appear in the evening at a rally in downtown Phoenix. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – – President Donald Trump has pardoned former sheriff Joe Arpaio following his conviction for intentionally disobeying a judge’s order in an immigration case.

The White House announced the move Friday night, saying the 85-year-old ex-sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County was a “worthy candidate” for a presidential pardon.

Arpaio tells The Associated Press that he appreciates Trump pardoning him after his recent federal conviction and says he’ll always stand by the president.

Arpaio talked to the AP by phone while he was eating dinner at an Italian restaurant on Friday. He says he is thankful for the work his legal team did in securing the pardon. He plans to discuss his case more next week.

He said he learned of the pardon after the papers absolving the conviction were mailed to one of his lawyers.

He also said he’s not ruling out a return to the political arena. Arpaio says he’s going to be “very active.”

Arpaio was convicted of a misdemeanor contempt-of-court charge for defying a judge’s orders that he stop conducting immigration patrols. He was facing the prospect of jail time at his sentencing in October.

Below is a statement from the White House. Click image to enlarge

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