On the heels of Trump’s despicable and misguided decision to grant a pardon to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued a response through his spokesman, Doug Andres.
“The speaker does not agree with the decision. Law-enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon.”
While Ryan speaking out against the President is in itself a surprise, the fact that he did so through a spokesman and after many others have already spoken out is decidedly less surprising.
Arizona Senator John McCain said Trump’s pardon “undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions.”
California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it demonstrates “flagrant disregard for the rule of law in this country.”
That being said, the fact that top officials from both sides of the aisle have come out against Trump’s ill-advised pardon is a testament to its utter inappropriateness. In granting the pardon, Trump may have been pandering to the most extreme members of his base, but he risks losing everyone else in the process.