Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio blames Obama for ‘witch hunt’ after Trump pardons him

President Donald Trump has pardoned Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, as he implied he would during a rally on Tuesday, according to a White House statement released Friday evening.

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Arpaio was convicted of a criminal charge at the end of last month for refusing to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants, marking a final rebuke for a politician who once drew strong popularity from such crackdowns but was ultimately booted from office as voters became frustrated over his headline-grabbing tactics and deepening legal troubles.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democratic congressman from Texas, cried foul after the pardon was announced.

A short time later, Arpaio thanked the president on Twitter for the pardon and blamed his conviction on "holdovers in the Obama justice department."

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