President Trump told Fox News that he is “seriously considering” issuing a pardon for former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted last month of criminal contempt for ignoring a judge’s order to stop detaining people because he merely suspected them of being undocumented immigrants.
Trump told the news outlet during a conversation in Bedminster, N.J., that the pardon could come quickly, perhaps in a matter of days. The news outlet reported the conversation on its website Monday. Trump said Arpaio is a “great American patriot” who has “done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration.”
Arpaio, 85, whose extreme stance and tactics on illegal immigration made him a household name, was convicted of criminal contempt last month by a federal judge in Arizona. He faces up to six months in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 5.
Jack Wilenchik, Arpaio’s attorney, did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment Monday. A White House spokeswoman did not immediately answer an email seeking comment. A Justice Department spokeswoman said she was not aware of the president’s remarks but would wait until action was taken before commenting.
Arpaio told Fox News, “I would accept the pardon because I am 100 percent not guilty.”
The former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., has long been an advocate for Trump and spoke in support of him at the Republican National Convention in July.
— Matt Zapotosky
17 immigrants found locked in truck: Police in Texas acting on a tip found 17 immigrants locked inside a tractor-trailer parked at a gas station about 20 miles from the border with Mexico, less than a month after 10 people died in the back of a hot truck in San Antonio. Edinburg Assistant Police Chief Oscar Trevino told KGBT-TV that the immigrants from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and Romania may have been locked inside the 18-wheeler in Edinburg for at least eight hours before being freed by officers late Sunday morning. None of the people inside the tractor-trailer required medical attention. A man and woman who Trevino said are Cuban nationals were in charge of the rig and have been detained.
Cybersecurity expert pleads not guilty: A British cybersecurity researcher credited with helping curb a recent worldwide ransomware attack pleaded not guilty Monday to U.S. federal charges accusing him of creating malicious software to steal banking information three years ago. Marcus Hutchins, 23, entered his plea in Wisconsin federal court, where prosecutors charged him and an unnamed co-defendant with conspiring to commit computer fraud in the state and elsewhere. He was arrested on Aug. 2 at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, on his way back to Britain after attending a cybersecurity convention. Hutchins was hailed as a hero four months ago when he found a “kill switch” to slow the outbreak of the WannaCry virus that crippled computers worldwide.
— From news services