In July 2017, former Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt, after violating the orders of a federal judge to stop racially profiling Hispanics. He was due to appear in court on October 5 for sentencing.

On Friday, President Trump pardoned him.

The pardon comes at an odd time, and it is questionable, at best. Arpaio has shown no remorse for violating a court order.

Arpaio has a long history of questionable behavior while in office, as a matter of fact, not the least of which included paying funds to have President Obama’s birth certificate investigated.

As a loyal acolyte of President Trump, this pardon looks suspiciously like a case of quid pro quo, and I’m sure in the days to come, it will be analyzed, inside and out.

Because it stinks.

The response to the end-of-week pardon has come flooding in, and it’s predictable.

Of course, Democrats are going to oppose the move, but not all Republicans are sold on it, either.

The two U.S. senators from Arizona, John McCain and Jeff Flake both had an issue with the pardon.

Said McCain:

“Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders,” McCain said in a statement.

“The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions.”

Flake made a brief statement on Twitter.

Then, of course, there are the Trump clingers, hoping that agreeing with everything Trump says and does will ingratiate them to Trump’s fans and they can be dragged along the tracks behind the Trump train.

Flake’s challenger for his seat, Dr. Kelli Ward, quickly chimed in:

“We applaud the president for exercising his pardon authority to counter the assault on Sheriff Arpaio’s heroic efforts to enforce the nation’s immigrant laws,” Ward said in a statement.

There’s enforcing laws, and there’s singling out brown people. It’s a fine line that Arpaio was found to have happily crossed.

Then again, Ward is the InfoWars hopping, chemtrail queen, who couldn’t even beat John McCain in 2016. She felt her time had come when Senator McCain’s brain cancer was announced, and she went on radio and tried to rush the man to an early grave, saying she hoped she could get his seat.

Classy.

She’s determined she’s going to get one of those U.S. Senate seats, one way or another.

And this protection of loyalists, while he demonizes the press, other Republicans, and even our nation’s intelligence community is how autocratic rule takes hold.