Sean Hannity is “very relieved” that Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, a guy who refused to respect his citizens’ constitutional rights. Hannity was so delighted, he took time out of covering the catastrophic Hurricane Harvey to celebrate this victory for bigotry over the Constitution in an interview with Arpaio.
The New York Times has some background on Arpaio and his conviction (written pre-pardon) that Hannity hid from his viewers:
The sheriff was convicted of violating constitutional rights, in defiance of a court order involving racial profiling. Should the president indicate that he does not think Mr. Arpaio should be punished for that, he would signal that governmental agents who violate judicial injunctions are likely to be pardoned, even though their behavior violated constitutional rights, when their illegal actions are consistent with presidential policies.
Noah Feldman, a Harvard constitutional law professor and former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, wrote (also pre-pardon) that such an act would be an impeachable offense.
Such a pardon would reflect outright contempt for the judiciary, which convicted Arpaio for his resistance to its authority. Trump has questioned judges’ motives and decisions, but this would be a further, more radical step in his attack on the independent constitutional authority of Article III judges.
An Arpaio pardon would express presidential contempt for the Constitution. Arpaio didn’t just violate a law passed by Congress. His actions defied the Constitution itself, the bedrock of the entire system of government. For Trump to say that this violation is excusable would threaten the very structure on which is right to pardon is based.
Hannity conducted his softball interview with Arpaio Friday night, shortly after the pardon. Hannity has a long history of advocating for white bigots so it was no surprise that he shunted aside Hurricane Harvey to give some love to this particular paragon.
Right at the outset, Hannity conveyed his own contempt for the Constitution, saying, “Remember, [Arpaio] was convicted last month of only criminal contempt.”
As far as Hannity is concerned, racist, Constitution-disregarding Arpaio is a heroic public servant.
HANNITY: First of all, Sheriff, I’m very relieved for you. You’re 85 years old. You have dedicated your entire life to public service. You came under fire for obeying what are the laws of the land. I applaud the president for what he did tonight. It was the right thing to do. … How did it feel?
ARPAIO: Well, it’s great. I love that president. He supports law enforcement.
Arpaio promised a news conference next week “to get to the bottom of this” and “show the abuse of the judicial system in politics.” He said, “I’m not going down without trying to defend myself to all those people that don’t like what I’ve done.”
But as far as I can tell, Arpaio is not "going down" but just got off.
Hannity, of course, was on board with making Arpaio a victim anyway.
HANNITY: Sheriff, it’s got to be daunting. After all those years of public service, that here you are, you know, facing a potential year and jail and I’ve known you for many, many years, Sir, and I remember when you stood up and you said, “Wait a minute, these are the laws of the land. I’m a law enforcement officer. I’m sworn to uphold the laws of the land. Others that were also sworn to uphold the laws of the land are not doing it. But I’m gonna do it."
But wait, there was more slobbering:
HANNITY: Thank you for all your years of service. I’m relieved for you, for your wife, for your family and I’m glad that the president – he did the right thing, there’s no question about it and I’m sure he’ll take heat but he’s a man of conviction as we all learned and he is not gonna be compliant to what people want him to be. And I think that’s why people admire him so much.
Sure, guys like Hannity and Arpaio admire Trump. The majority of America? Not so much.
Watch Hannity’s contempt for the Constitution below, from the August 24, 2017 Hannity show.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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