President Trump stirred up more controversy eight months into his presidency last Friday by pardoning former Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The pardon spurred outrage among Americans only weeks after the President was soft on condemning racist hate groups that lead to three deaths in Charlottesville, Virginia. Only a few Republican lawmakers had come out to condemn the President's statements while Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) declared that he would begin filing articles of impeachment as soon as Congress returned back to Washington. Unless some savvy guru of law is able to "yank" Arpaio back for a conviction, there's every indication that he's got a free pass.

Arpaio's contempt of court ruling for profiling Latinos

The former sheriff had been notorious for profiling Latinos and stressing the limits of civil rights, violating the rights of many, even with his own prisoners. That resulted in the ruling this year by a federal court that he was in contempt of a court order. That conviction would have had him serve a prison sentence of six months which he was due to start in October. The conviction was determined when the allegedly racist, white nationalist sheriff had knowingly and repeatedly defied the court's orders, much like Donald Trump does as president. Both of them are similar in every way.

Arpaio wrongfully arrested two journalists for negative story about him

Four years ago, the Phoenix New Times reported on another incident which also mirrors the kind flirting with authoritarianism that the former sheriff shares with President Trump. The media resource reported back in 2013 that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors had made a unanimous decision to approve a $3.75 million dollar settlement to the founders, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.

The settlement was the result of a case they had been fighting with Arpaio for 10-years. The final straw it would seem was in 2007, when both Lacey and Larkin were arrested by Arpaio's deputies in the middle of the night for what Arpaio claimed was them "violating the secrecy of a grand jury."

Arpaio's investment dealings

It turned out, however, that no grand jury had been convened and that it was clearly abuse of power by the then-sheriff of Maricopa County.

Again, much like Trump, Arpaio hates the media and took action to have these media founders arrested for an incident that started back in 2004. At the time, a reporter published a story that dove into the sheriff's real estate transactions and a large sum of money he had invested into commercial real estate property. The large sum of money was suspicious because it seemed way past the salary of a county sheriff.

Illegal arrest, seeking protection, defying law and order

The articles revealed information which was already public, such as the sheriff's home address. Arpaio was able to get a special prosecutor and convened a grand jury to subpoena sources, notes, records and even the readers of those articles from the Phoenix New Times site.

This would result in Lacey and Larkin's arrest before it was discovered pretty quickly that the special prosecutor had not followed the correct process with the court or the grand jury to make the arrests. It's likely that if they had done so, they would not have gotten the warrants.

But this is also similar to how Trump and members of his administration have tested the system where they fail to follow the Rule Of Law for their decisions, leaving everyone else to scramble or not even bother. But Lacey and Larkin sued Arpaio, who tried to get the courts to grant him and his special prosecutor immunity against getting sued. This is also similar to how Donald Trump operates, as both the president and the former sheriff use the law when they want protection but otherwise defy it when it's used against them.