The White House has reportedly prepared the paperwork for President Trump to pardon former sheriff Joe Arpaio when he makes the final decision to do so, CNN has learned.
An administration official said the White House has also prepared talking points to send to surrogates after he is pardoned.
One of the talking points is that Arpaio served his country for 50 years in the military, the Drug Enforcement Administration and as Arizona's Maricopa County sheriff, and that it is not appropriate to send him to prison for "enforcing the law" and "working to keep people safe."
Arpaio, an early Trump supporter, was found guilty last month of criminal contempt for disregarding a court order in a racial profiling case. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 5.
Though the timing remains unclear, the President alluded that he would soon pardon Arpaio during his rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Tuesday night.
"I won't do it tonight because I don't want to cause any controversy," Trump said, after Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said he would "inflame passions" if he did so.
"I'll make a prediction," Trump added. "I think he's going to be just fine."
Arpaio did not attend the rally.
The former Sheriff said he has not been directly contacted by the White House, but was pleased to hear what Trump had to say about him.
"Well, he speaks from the heart, " Arpaio said. "It's not just because I support him. I firmly believe he knows about the abuse that happened, and if it can be done to me, it can be done to anybody and that's the danger of this."
According to a CNN report, the White House has prepared paperwork for President Trump to pardon Arpaio, while putting together a list of talking points to support it.
The talking points include:
- Arpaio's 50 -years of service to his country.
- Time with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
- Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
The argument is that it's not appropriate to send him to prison for "enforcing the law" and "working to help keep people safe." Alejandra Gomez, with LUCHA, is one of many community activists who believe a pardon for Arpaio would send the wrong message.
"For Trump to pardon Arpaio would not be shocking," said Gomez. "We have seen that the President does not follow the rule of law and we have seen he does not care what judicial system says."
"The people who actually need the pardoning, are not Arpaio," said Maria Castro, with Puente. "The people who need the pardon are people who had to endure inhumane treatments from his Sheriffs Department."
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