Former Arizona AG Terry Goddard: Trump Obstructing Justice With Joe Arpaio Pardon

Published: Monday, October 2, 2017 - 9:15am
Updated: Monday, October 2, 2017 - 3:03pm
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Paul Atkinson/KJZZ
Terry Goddard

Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is spearheading a legal effort hoping to derail President Donald Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio.

Now in private practice, the Democrat filed a court brief this week claiming the pardon threatens the entire judicial system and violates the constitutional separation of powers.

Goddard claims President Trump is obstructing justice by specifically voiding the contempt of court rulings against the former Maricopa County sheriff.

“The brief argues, and I think very persuasively that this particular action, interfering with the court’s ability to enforce its order is a violation of separation of powers," said Goddard. "A pardon can apply to a conviction and a sentence after it’s gone through the judicial process, but not a charge of contempt.”

A group of Democrats, including Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, is spearheading an effort in Congress to challenge Trump’s pardon of Arpaio on similar grounds.

The group filed an amicus brief with the court last week asking judge Susan Bolton to reject the pardon on legal grounds. Goddard is one of the lawyers behind this brief, and he’s on the line now to tell us more about it.

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