Emperor Barack Obama has never shied away from using big government law enforcement agencies for political means. His Internal Revenue Service was unleashed on conservative Tea Party groups, his NSA has set new standards for snooping that put the East German Stasi for shame and his Justice Department has become his own personal Gestapo. It is the latter that is being used to settle a score with aging Sheriff Joe Arpaio before Obama leaves office with a criminal contempt charge that could end up with the Maricopa County icon in jail.
The Arizona Republic’s website AZ Central is reporting “Federal government to pursue criminal-contempt charge against Sheriff Joe Arpaio; he vows to fight”:
Federal prosecutors said Tuesday they will pursue a criminal-contempt charge against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for defying orders to halt the immigration-enforcement operations that made him a national lightning rod.
If convicted, Arpaio could spend up to six months in jail.
The move has few precedents in U.S. history, as prosecutors endorsed a federal judge’s findings that the lawman intentionally violated the judge’s orders.
Dozens of protesters who lined the sidewalk outside the federal courthouse Tuesday morning erupted in cheers, hugs and tears when they heard the news.
They moved toward the courthouse doors, circled and shouted: “Si se puede! Si se puede!” ( “Yes, we can!”)
Arpaio has not yet officially been charged. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton asked the federal government to write an order to show cause for her to sign by Wednesday. That will serve as a charging document for the case to go forward against Arpaio.
The sheriff blasted the move as politically motivated, coming on the eve of the start of early voting for the Nov. 8 election, in which he is running for his seventh term. He said he has done nothing wrong.
“My point is this was strictly a political attack on this sheriff in this campaign,” Arpaio said in comments to The Arizona Republic.
Legal experts say the judge and attorneys have little historical guidance moving forward with the case.
“As rare as it is to have a federal judge refer the head of a law-enforcement agency for prosecution, it is even rarer that the Department of Justice would pick up that gauntlet and move forward with the charge,” said Paul Charlton, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona. “It’s unheard of.”
The cagey Sheriff Joe has been a hero to conservatives for his no nonsense approach to crime and illegal aliens, he has also been a vocal critic of the outgoing Obama. It’s a sign of El Presidente’s narcissistic vindictiveness that he has now chosen to sic the feds on an 84-year-old man as a parting shot.
This is right out of the old Soviet Union.