Former Clerk Defends Arizona Judge Who Ruled Against Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio

The recently pardoned Arpaio claims he was the victim of a "political witch hunt."

In the days since he received a presidential pardon, former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has lashed out at his critics and the judge who found him guilty of criminal contempt for violating the terms of a court order in a racial profiling case.

The controversial Maricopa County lawman insisted over the weekend that he “didn’t do anything wrong” and questioned the fairness of U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, who said in July that Arpaio had “willfully violated” the 2011 court order.

Arpaio further called his conviction the product of a “political witch hunt” orchestrated by members of former President Barack Obama’s administration.

President Donald Trump also suggested that the ruling against Arpaio was unjust when he was asked about the pardon at a news conference on Monday. 

“He’s done a great job for the people of Arizona,” Trump said. “He’s strong on borders and strong on illegal immigration. He is loved in Arizona, and I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly.”

The 2011 court order barred Arpaio and his office from detaining individuals solely on suspicions about their legal status. Andrew Case, a former clerk for U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow, who issued the order, rushed to defend Snow on Twitter after Arpaio’s pardon.

Presumably reacting to Arpaio’s charges of “bias” in his trial, Case argued in a series of posts that Snow was anything but a liberal partisan who had ruled unfairly.

He noted that Snow was nominated by former President George W. Bush and that he “quoted [former Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia favorably.” The judge also kept a [George] “Romney Institute blotter” on his desk, he added, a reference to a Brigham Young University program.

“He is ideologically conservative and deeply devoted to the rule of law,” Case tweeted.

Case continued with numerous other tweets, some of them accompanied by text from Snow’s findings of fact in 2013, describing how he had conducted the trial. 

Case also referenced racist emails Arpaio’s deputies had exchanged in the past, which emerged during a Justice Department investigation.

Case tweeted that Arpaio had once “sent investigators after the judge’s wife,” which the former sheriff had confirmed during his testimony. Case also suggested that Arpaio had constantly insulted Snow, although it was not clear which remarks he was referring to.

Arpaio launched numerous investigations of local politicians and officials he viewed as opponents, according to The Arizona Republic.

Case finally concluded that Snow was “too dignified” to respond to personal attacks against him.

Case did not immediately reply to a request for comment from HuffPost. 

Ryan J. Reilly contributed reporting.