FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Thursday, August 31, 2017

UPDATE, READ: Arizona Corporation Commission Corruption Trial Continued To 2018; 9th Circuit Weighs In

The federal bribery trial involving the former Chair of the Arizona Corporation Commission has been pushed back to 2018, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has put defendant Jim Norton's appeal of the protective order on life support.

U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi signed an order today re-setting the trial of former ACC Chair Gary Pierce, his wife Sherry Pierce, lobbyist Jim Norton, and utility company owner George Johnson from October 3 to January 3, 2018.

Sherry Pierce's attorney (Ashley Adams) requested the 90-day continuance because she is currently involved in a 6-week trial which would prevent her from being able to prepare for the October trial date. Prosecuting attorneys and fellow defense counsel did not object to the postponement.

Meanwhile, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has expressed its doubts about Norton's challenge to Judge Tuchi's earlier order restricting what information about the wider corruption investigation can be publicly disclosed by defendants. Norton has until September 12 to explain why the appellate judges should consider an appeal before conviction and imposition of sentence.

The judge had ordered prosecutors to turn over documents to defense attorneys, but restricted the defendants and their attorneys from releasing information, so as not to interfere with ongoing investigations. (Our previous article - with the protective orders - can be found here.)


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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

BREAKING, READ: Following Presidential Pardon, Judge Sets October Hearing On Vacating Arpaio Criminal Contempt Of Court Verdict

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton has set an October 4 hearing on whether Donald Trump's Presidential pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio should vacate the verdict that he is guilty of criminal contempt of court.

The Judge's late Tuesday afternoon Order vacates the sentencing hearing set for October 5, and replaces it with oral argument on Arpaio's Motion to vacate and dismiss the case with prejudice, on Octbober 4 at 10:00a.m.. If successful, that motion would have the effect of wiping away the July verdict finding him guilty of criminal contempt of court for flagrantly violating a court order in the Melendres v. Arpaio civil rights case.

Judge Bolton rejected Arpaio's request to rule immediately on the Motion "because it requests more than vacating the sentencing date and dismissal with prejudice."  She thus gives the Government an opportunity to respond.

Yesterday, Trump gave a 4-minute long defense of his Friday night pardon of his friend Arpaio, and the former Sheriff's attorneys' Motion and Proposed Order can be read here.


We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

Monday, August 28, 2017

WATCH, READ: President Trump's Defense Of His Pardon Of Joe Arpaio

President Donald Trump was asked today about his Friday night pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The President spoke for 4 minutes on the controversial pardon - reading from a prepared script for part of the time comparing the pardon to past bad guys pardoned by Democratic predecessors. He concluded that he "stand(s) by my pardon of Sheriff Joe, and I think the people of Arizona who really know him best would agree with me."

(click on picture for video)

TRUMP >> WELL, A LOT OF PEOPLETHINK IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. ACTUALLY, IN THE MIDDLE OF A HURRICANE, I ASSUMED THE RATINGS WOULD BE FAR HIGHER THAN THEYWERE NORMALLY. AND I PUT IT OUT THAT I HAD PARDONED, AS WE SAY, SHERIFF JOE. HE'S DONE A GREAT JOB FOR THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA. HE'S VERY STRONG ON BORDERS. VERY STRONG ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. HE IS LOVED IN ARIZONA. I THOUGHT HE WAS TREATED UNBELIEVABLY UNFAIRLY WHEN THEY CAME DOWN WITH THEIR BIG DECISION TO GO GET HIM RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION VOTING STARTED, AS YOU KNOW, ANDHE LOST IN A FAIRLY CLOSE ELECTION. HE WOULD HAVE WON THE ELECTION BUT THEY JUST HAMMERED HIM, JUST BEFORE THE ELECTION. ITHOUGHT THAT WAS A VERY, VERY UNFAIR THING TO DO. WHEN I MENTIONED HIM THE OTHER NIGHT, YOU SAW THE MASSIVE CROWD WEHAD. THE PEOPLE WENT CRAZY WHEN I SAID, WHAT DO YOU THINK OFSHERIFF JOE, OR SOMETHING TO THAT EFFECT. THE PLACE WENT CRAZYWHEN I WAS IN ARIZONA LAST WEEK. AND AS FAR AS PARDONS ARE CONCERNED, I ACTUALLY DID THIS JUST BEFORE THE MEETING, BECAUSE I ASSUME THAT SOMEBODY WOULD ASK ME THE QUESTION. I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT WOULD BE YOU. I THOUGHT I WOULD. AND SHERIFF JOE IS A GREAT VETERAN OF THE MILITARY. GREAT LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSON. SOMEBODY THAT'S WON MANY ELECTIONS IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. BUT I WANTED TO LOOK AT SOME OF THE OTHER PEOPLE THAT WERE PARDONED OVER THE YEARS. AND IF YOU LOOK AT, AS AN EXAMPLE,PRESIDENT CLINTON PARDONED MARK RICH, WHO WAS CHARGED WITH CRIMES GOING BACK DECADES, INCLUDING ILLEGALLY BUYING OIL FROM IRAN WHILE IT HELD 53 AMERICAN HOSTAGES, WASN'T ALLOWED TO DO THAT. SELLING TO THE ENEMIES OF THE UNITED STATES. HE WAS PARDONED AFTER HIS WIFE DONATED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO THE CLINTONS. THEN YOU HAVE DANGEROUS CRIMINALS. PRESIDENT CLINTON PARDONED SUSAN ROSEBURG, A MEMBER OF THE WEATHERED UNDERGROUND. PART OF A BANK ROBBERY THAT LED TO AGUARD AND TWO POLICE OFFICERS BEING KILLED. DRUG DEALERS.PRESIDENT CLINTON COME MUTED THE -- COMMUTED THE SENTENCE OF ACENTRAL PLAYER IN A COCAINE RING THAT STRETCHED FROM CALIFORNIA TO MINNESOTA. CRIMINAL LEAKER. YOU'VE HEARD THE WORD LEAKER? PRESIDENT OBAMA COMMUTED THE SENTENCE OF CHELSEA MANNING, WHO LEAKED COUNTLESS CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS TO WIKILEAKS,PERHAPS AND OTHERS. BUT HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE THING THAT HE DID,COMMUTED THE SENTENCE. AND PERHAPS PARDONED. PRESIDENT OBAMA COMMUTED THE SENTENCE OF OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA, WHO WAS CHARGED AS PART OF A VIOLENT INDEPENDENCE GROUP FROM PUERTO RICO, RESPONSIBLE FOR 28 CHICAGO AREA BOMBINGS AND MANY DEATHS INTHE 1970'S AND 1980'S. SHERIFF JOE IS A PATRIOT. SHERIFF JOE LOVES OUR COUNTRY. SHERIFF JOE PROTECTED OUR BORDERS. AND SHERIFF JOE WAS VERY UNFAIRLY TREATED BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, ESPECIALLY RIGHT BEFORE AN ELECTION, AN ELECTION THAT HE WOULD HAVE WON. AND HE WAS ELECTED MANY TIMES. SO I STAND BY MY PARDON OF SHERIFF JOE AND I THINK THE PEOPLE OF ARIZONA, WHO REALLY KNOW HIM BEST, WOULD AGREE WITH ME. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

BREAKING, READ: @RealSheriffJoe Arpaio Moves To Not Only Vacate Sentencing, But Un-do Guilty Verdict http://bit.ly/AZp1488


We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.