One of President trump’s more popular applauds lines during the Phoenix rally was the implication that Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, had nothing to worry about, that being his recent conviction of misdemeanor contempt of court. Even though the appeals have not been exhausted and Arpaio has not even been sentenced yet, it is an open secret that Trump intends to pardon him. According to Hot Air, this is not sitting well with Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, a woman who is rumored to want to replace Trump in the Oval Office.

Why was Arpaio convicted of a crime?

Sheriff Arpaio has been a favorite of people who have favored a tough stance on crime, especially illegal immigration, for some time. He is famous for having built a tent city as a prison where conditions were harsh, to say the least. Arpaio was also proactive in enforcing immigration laws, a practice that ran at odds with President Obama’s Justice Department, which favored more lax enforcement.

The federal government and Arpaio battled for a decade over the sheriff’s alleged practice of racially profiling Hispanics. When a federal judge ordered him to stop, he persisted. Hence, Arpaio was convicted of contempt. Arpaio has denied his office conducted racial profiling.

Why is Kamala Harris upset?

Trump’s plan to pardon Arpaio is for him a political no brainer. While the former sheriff is considered a racist and worse by many people, none of them tend to be Trump voters. Pardoning Arpaio would be very popular among the president’s base. Politically motivated pardons are not unheard of. Both President Clinton and President Obama engaged in the practice.

The power of presidential pardon is absolute.

Sen. Harris is not happy with that last fact. In fact, she tweeted, “Joe Arpaio was convicted because he committed a crime. He should not be pardoned.” Harris thus seems to have missed the entire point of pardons. They are only handed out to people who have been convicted of crimes.

As a former attorney general for the state of California, Harris ought to be well aware of this.

One can give arguments for and against Arpaio being pardoned. On the one hand, many people believe his prosecution was politically motivated and that his practice of rounding up illegal aliens was not illegal. On the contrary, as a law enforcement officer, Arpaio was under a special obligation to obey the ruling of a federal judge, even one he disagreed with. He has not only not shown remorse, usually a requirement for being granted a pardon, but has not even acknowledged that he has committed a crime.