The former sheriff also gained fame for subjecting inmates to harsh conditions.
Now check out how “Fox & Friends” handled the issue:
Co-host Steve Doocy: Well, President Trump hinting at a pardon for former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Some on the left not happy. California senator Kamala Harris tweeting this, “Joe Arpaio was convicted because he committed a crime. He should not be pardoned.” But presidential pardons aren’t exactly unprecedented, so why the outcry? Let’s bring in presidential historian Doug Wead for reaction … Now here’s the thing about Sheriff Joe. Because he has been after the drug cartels for so long: If he were to go to jail, what would happen to him?Doug Wead: He’d be murdered. I interviewed Joe. His story would curl your hair, Steve. It’s in my book “Game of Thorns.” I interviewed him before he was sheriff of Maricopa County. He served for 23 years as sheriff. But before that for 30 years in the FBI and the DEA when he went after the drug lords, the Mexican drug lords. They put a bounty on his head and on his family’s head. He has stood with the victims of crime. This is a tragedy, what’s happened to him. He should be in the East Room of the White House getting the [Presidential] Medal of Freedom put around his neck. Not sent to prison to be assassinated and murdered, which is what would happen.Doocy: Well, some on the political left, Doug, are, you know — their hair is on fire the fact that the president may pardon him. We’ve got some graphics to show that President Clinton pardoned 396 people during his time, 140 on the last day. George W. Bush about 200. President Obama 212. But you say there is something interesting about the 212 for President Obama.Wead: Yeah. I saw this morning, Steve, the Washington Post headline had ‘Pardons, presidential pardons, rare but not unprecedented.’* My goodness: This is not only fake news, this is fake history. Presidents give hundreds of pardons, as you pointed out. Reagan gave 600 pardons. But what Obama did is the commutations, according to The Hill. The most in one day, and 1,716 prisoners had their sentences commutated — federal prisoners — by Barack Obama.Doocy: All right, so it would not be unprecedented for this president to pardon Joe Arpaio.Wead: No, it would not be all all. The only reason Joe Arpaio got this charge, and it wasn’t tried by a jury; it was a leftist judge — is because he supported Donald Trump for president.Doocy: Ooh, that’ll get ya! All right. Doug Wead, historian from our nation’s capital. Thank you for the historical perspective.
*The actual headline of this Washington Post story reads, “Pardon for Arpaio would be rare but not unprecedented act.” Contrary to Wead’s assertion, the story doesn’t argue that presidential pardons are rare — just pardons in a case like Arpaio’s.