Opinion

Trump's pardon of Arpaio undermines the Constitution. He should be impeached

To the editor: In arguing that Donald Trump will not be impeached for what he concedes is the president’s “highly inappropriate” pardon of Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., Jeffrey Crouch fails to consider what distinguishes this pardon from all others. (“Can Trump be impeached for pardoning Arpaio?” Opinion, Aug. 28)

Arpaio had his deputies racially profile Latinos, stopping them without reasonable suspicion to see if they were legal U.S. residents. It was not unusual for those who were stopped to be held for hours until they could demonstrate their legal status. Despite being ordered by a federal district court to cease and desist, Arpaio violated the order for 18 months, and for this he was convicted of criminal contempt.

By pardoning Arpaio, Trump excuses law enforcement conduct that is worse than merely illegal; it is unconstitutional. He is telling police departments that targeting a constitutionally protected class of people for disparate treatment can be done with impunity. This undermines the people’s faith in equal protection under the law and constitutional government in general.

By so doing, Trump should be impeached for violating his oath “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”

Robert J. Switzer, West Hollywood

The writer is an attorney.

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To the editor: Trump, in his pardon of Arpaio, has abused his power to pardon.

He has acted in violation of his duties as president under Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution, which requires that he “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

He has flouted the rule of law and has laid waste to the hard work of the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice, which prosecuted Arpaio.

The father of our Constitution and former President James Madison described impeachment as the proper response to a president’s abuse of the pardon power. It is time for our Congress to act to remove Trump from office.

Fred Barker, Burbank

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