Donald Trump's first presidential pardon might go to Joe Arpaio. The former Arizona sheriff known for his unconventional and sometimes controversial tactics on crime and illegal immigration was found guilty of criminal contempt last month, and Trump, who has so far not pardoned anyone, tells Fox News he's "seriously considering" doing so for Arpaio. Arpaio's conviction stems from him refusing to halt traffic patrols that targeted those suspected of being undocumented imigrants, even after a state judge ordered him to do so. Arpaio, 85, is set to be sentenced Oct. 5, but while he faces up to six months in jail, some attorneys doubt he'll get any time behind bars due to his age and his lack of prior convictions.
Trump told Fox Arpaio, whom he still referred to as "Sheriff Joe," "has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him." He said many in Arizona admire Arpaio and the tactics he used, including things like bringing back chain gangs and forcing inmates to don pink underwear. "He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way," Trump said. Arpaio, who lost his bid to be re-elected as sheriff last year, told Fox News he was unaware of Trump's familiarity with his case and that he would accept a pardon if offered "because I am 100% not guilty." One Arizona columnist thinks Trump should pardon him, since he's already ended his career "in disgrace" and no longer has a place on the national stage.