Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Reacts to President Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio

August 26, 2017
Press Release

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Steve Cohen (TN-09) today issued the following reaction to President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“President Trump's pardoning of Joe Arpaio isn't just bad, it's dangerous. The President continues to show a callous disregard for the independence of our federal judiciary,” said Congressman Cohen.  “Even worse, he did so in defense of a man who had been criminally convicted of failing to follow a court order in connection with a lawsuit involving racial profiling.  This was not only a terrible decision, but if reports are accurate that he did not consult the Department of Justice, it was also done incredibly irresponsibly. Presidents have a duty to consult professionals and experts before taking action.  Authoritarianism always starts with attacks on the press and the judiciary.  We must guard against these kind of attacks against democracy.  The rule of law is one of our basic precepts.  We fought a revolution to place the law above men.  By pardoning the former sheriff, the President has once again abused his authority and divided our nation.  I will be reviewing the President’s action with my Judiciary Committee colleagues to determine how best to address it.”