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With Arpaio Pardoned . . . How About Turning Attention To Ethics Of The Judge Who Took Him Down?

September 13, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — Furthering two news events, President Trump called attention to baby Charlie Gard in early July and former Sheriff Joe Arpaio in late August.
The seriously ill English baby was unknown to many before Trump tweeted his offer of assistance, which cast the president in a more sympathetic light while many news organizations took an impartial look at the case of the suffering infant being denied vital medical treatment.
Arizonan Arpaio, well-known for discouraging illegal immigration, was saddled with burdens of media bias that favors open borders. But in providing a pardon to Arpaio, recently convicted of misdemeanor criminal contempt of court, Trump said nothing to refute assertions that both he and the Italian-heritage Arizonan are bigots, one aiding the other.
This could have been a teachable time, but a passive approach hardly enhanced either Trump’s or Arpaio’s reputation.
Even though the August 25 White House news release noted Arpaio’s admirable long career in public service including law enforcement, a life of good deeds may not outweigh subsequent criminal activity.
However, the White House didn’t call necessary attention to the highly questionable path that led to his conviction on July 31.
Moreover, the intensification of legal proceedings against Arpaio suspiciously coincided with last year’s election-year calendar, focusing pressure as he sought a seventh four-year term as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county by far. Phoenix is the county seat.
Even if Arpaio had signed a confession of guilt in his own blood, the administration of justice couldn’t fairly proceed under an official who vowed his deep enmity to the sheriff. If Arpaio was guilty beyond doubt, he still shouldn’t have been at the mercy of a man unfit to sit in judgment of his case, G. Murray Snow.
Arpaio’s case first had gone to Bill Clinton-appointed federal Judge Mary Murguia, whose sister Janet astoundingly happened to be the leader of the racially divisive National Council of La Raza, which despised Arpaio. The sheriff successfully had her recused.
Out of the frying pan, into the fire. Enter Federal Judge Snow, who proceeded to pursue Arpaio beginning in 2009.
Appointed by open-borders President George W. Bush in 2007, Snow devised his orders for how carefully Arpaio and his staff must behave in a state overrun with massive illegal immigration, where the large majority of border violators are Latinos, as one might expect when Mexico serves as a funnel for all Latin lands into the Grand Canyon State.
Remarkably, Snow decided Arpaio engaged in racial profiling.
With the backing of open-borders Barack Obama’s politicized Department of Justice, Snow finally ran Arpaio to ground, referring him for criminal contempt of court shortly before Arizona’s primary election on August 30, 2016. Still, Arpaio easily won that GOP primary.
Then, the month before last November’s general election, Obama’s Justice Department said it was charging Arpaio with the criminal offense. Although some polling had shown a competitive race against George Soros-funded Democrat Paul Penzone, Arpaio went on to lose by about 12 points.
After Trump’s recent pardon was attacked sharply, retired attorney and blogger Paul Mirengoff raised an issue on August 29 at the PowerLine blog that was familiar to many Arizonans but usually ignored by Arizona’s dominant media and nationally. This is a major reason social media have won such wide acceptance. They unlock concealed facts.
Arguing that Arpaio’s political foes were out to punish him because the sheriff tried to fill the void caused by the federal government refusing to enforce immigration law, Mirengoff turned for evidence to Ronald Rotunda, a distinguished professor of jurisprudence at Southern California’s Chapman University School of Law.
The blog article was headlined, “Did Joe Arpaio receive a fair hearing from an unbiased judge?”
Rotunda had evaluated Snow’s bias in light of the judge’s wife declaring at a restaurant that Snow, as Arpaio phrased it, “wanted to do everything to make sure I’m not elected” again. Arpaio made this remark in 2015 as Show exceeded his judicial role by interrogating the sheriff from the bench.
Neither Snow nor his wife ever denied that statement, Rotunda said. The law professor added: “It should be obvious that whatever the duties of a federal judge are, that job description does not include conducting a judicial proceeding in a way to insure (sic) that Sheriff Arpaio is not elected, and to pursue an investigation that is even broader than that for what appears to be personal reasons.”
The professor noted that Snow engaged in conduct in court beyond his proper role.
Rotunda said he “asked leading questions, gave his own version of the facts, conducted his own investigation outside the courtroom, argued with witnesses, and was extremely interested in what evidence existed concerning the statement he made to his wife that he would do all that he could to make sure that Sheriff Arpaio is not elected.”
The Wanderer had reported accusations against Snow’s impartiality in 2015 in stories in its hardcopy editions of May 7 (p. 3A), May 14 (p. 8B), and June 4 (p. 4B).
Apparently recognizing how damaging the statement by Snow’s wife was, The Arizona Republic, the state’s largest daily newspaper, has twisted itself in knots to ignore, minimize, or distort the import of her words exposing her husband.
The Republic, which loathes Arpaio, can be viewed a leader among the state’s corrupt open-borders establishment.
In his critique, Rotunda said he “thought I should point out some factors that I have never read in the recent news articles about the pardon and some of the litigation that led to it.”
Let the Republic’s conduct shame itself. It could give lessons to bullies in some backwater Southern town in the 19th century. Or to propaganda doctors at old Soviet newspapers.
The day after Snow in court started interrogating Arpaio about what his wife said, the April 24, 2015, Republic stretched the story across the top of the front page under the misleading banner headline, “Arpaio: Judge’s wife targeted.”
The first paragraph said that in a “bombshell,” Arpaio testified that “his attorneys had hired a private agent to investigate the wife of the federal judge who ruled that the sheriff’s office had engaged in racial profiling.”
This “revelation was the result of direct questioning” by Snow himself, the second paragraph said.
Readers were left to wonder if the sheriff perhaps had been snooping scandalously on the wife’s romantic ties or banking activities or something else embarrassing that would enable Arpaio to apply inappropriate pressure against the judge.
Not until the ninth paragraph, back on the jump page, did readers learn that it wasn’t the judge’s wife who actually was the target, but Arpaio himself — the target of a judge who wanted to take the sheriff down.
The ninth paragraph said: “Arpaio said he had come into the possession of an email from a tipster who claimed to have met Snow’s wife at a restaurant, and that Snow’s wife said the judge ‘wanted to do everything to make sure I’m not elected’.”
So, Arpaio said, his counsel hired a private investigator to check the accuracy of this.
The 11th paragraph said: “‘Results confirmed that your wife was in that restaurant,’ Arpaio told Snow. ‘I guess (the investigator) talked to the witness, confirmed that that remark was made’.”
Aside from verifying the comment, the sheriff’s office did nothing further with it, an Arpaio aide said.
The Republic’s main editorial on its opinions page the same day, April 24, was even more scared of what Arpaio had said.
While blasting away with its usual contempt for Arpaio as “almost pitiable” and having a case “enough to make one’s skin crawl,” the paper’s editorial board waited until its 16th paragraph to squeak that “Arpaio acknowledged Judge Snow’s wife was investigated for something she purportedly said about the sheriff in a restaurant.”
Just “something she purportedly said”? No information about the Republic’s great hero Snow being so biased that he was out to finish off Arpaio?
In his analysis posted August 29 at the PowerLine blog, Rotunda suffered none of the 2015 Republic editorial’s squeamishness about the remarkable revelation. He wrote:
“One thing is very clear. Several witnesses heard Judge Snow’s wife say, in substance, that her husband (Judge Snow) wanted to do whatever he could to make sure that Sheriff Arpaio (was) not re-elected. The witnesses may not recall or agree on the exact language that Judge Snow’s wife used, but they do agree on the substance and import of the statement.”
Perhaps smarting a bit back in 2015 to guffaws about how it had twisted the bannered page one story, the Republic reluctantly returned to the issue shortly thereafter, posting an article on June 5, 2015, that was headlined, “Murray Snow: The man judging Sheriff Joe.”
After beginning with a puzzling declaration about federal judges speaking “like gods thundering down from the heavens,” the article went on to a sixth paragraph noting “statements Snow’s wife might have made in a restaurant about Snow’s supposed bias against Arpaio.”
The article acknowledged some debate around the courthouse of whether Snow’s personal interrogation of Arpaio went too far. The reporter’s 12th paragraph asked, “Or was he too political? Is it true, as a tipster told Arpaio, that Snow’s wife said the judge wanted Arpaio out of office? That would certainly suggest bias.”
Having mentioned the shocking comment in two paragraphs, the Republic dropped the topic entirely for the rest of the story, not even trying to suggest a resolution of the question.
Instead it meandered along for 33 more paragraphs, including quoting people praising Snow in language so fulsome as to be more suitable for an obituary.
Although the aliens-arresting Arpaio was almost a pitiable character with a case enough to make one’s skin crawl, this article saw Snow as a giant among men, a “straight shooter,” “open-minded,” “devout,” “warm and caring family man,” “incredibly compassionate,” “good at seeing the best in people.”
That’s the comic-book way the Republic deploys its demons and angels.

Political Correctness

Once Snow set Arpaio up for the criminal prosecution, Bill Clinton-appointed Federal Judge Susan Bolton conducted a brief bench trial and pronounced Arpaio guilty on July 31. Bolton was the same judge who put Arizona’s new law against illegal immigration on hold in 2010, SB 1070, until the Supreme Court could strike down most of it.
After the conviction, the September 3 Republic ran a poster-size illustration of Arpaio with his fist raised on the local-news front page, headlined, “What did Arpaio do wrong?” Aside from a shallow, two-column photo atop the next page of Arpaio holding his pardon, that entire broadsheet page was solid type purporting to answer this question. Nowhere was there mention of Snow’s determination to get Arpaio.
Donald Trump has shown some surprising defiance of “political correctness.” Perhaps now his Justice Department could take a look at the intriguing destructive ethics of Judge Murray Snow. And also, maybe, Arizona’s backwater corruption so well represented by Trump-hating Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.

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