President Donald Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions this spring about dropping the federal case against former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio but was “advised that would be inappropriate,” The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Trump then decided to let the case, on charges of contempt of court for refusing to stop his crackdown on illegal immigrants, proceed — but “if Arpaio was convicted, he could grant clemency,” the Post reported.
The newspaper cited “three people with knowledge of the conversation” between the president and Sessions.
However, Trump planned that if Arpaio was convicted, he would pardon him — with one associate telling the Post that the president was “gung-ho about it.”
“We knew the president wanted to do this for some time now and had worked to prepare for whenever the moment may come,” one White House official told the newspaper “on the condition of anonymity.”
President Trump asked Jeff Sessions months ago if the Arpaio case could be dropped, officials say https://t.co/bpoB9n097U
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 27, 2017