WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has pardoned former sheriff Joe Arpaio following his conviction for intentionally disobeying a judge's order in an immigration case.
The White House announced the move Friday night, saying the 85-year-old ex-sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County was a "worthy candidate" for a presidential pardon.
The action came several days after Trump, at a rally in downtown Phoenix, strongly hinted that he intended to issue a pardon.
"So was Sheriff Joe was convicted for doing his job?" Trump asked supporters. "I'll make a prediction. I think he's going to be just fine, OK."
Arpaio, who became linked to Trump during the campaign for their hardline immigration views, was convicted of a misdemeanor for intentionally defying a judge's order to stop his traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.
Both politicians questioned the authenticity of then-President Barack Obama's birth certificate and have a similar history in sparring with judges.
In the statement Friday night, the White House said:
"Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life's work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon."