The Amici Curiae brief was filed (read below) by The Protect Democracy Project, along with other attorneys from Perkins Coie, and Messing & Spector. The Protect Democracy Project was formed by attorneys who served former President Barack Obama, the attorneys of Messing & Spector were senior counsel for Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and Perkins Coie represents the Democratic National Committee.
The brief (3 pages, below) brief is asking "that the Court take a modest action to provide for appellate consideration of this issue, by appointing a private attorney - as the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure command - who can then prosecute an appeal." Claiming the "core power of the judiciary is at stake", they claim that Rule 42(a) mandates ("must") that a private attorney be appointed in a prosecution for criminal contempt if the government declines the request.
Citing the Department of Justice's post-pardon statements that "this prosecution is over," that "[t]here will be no sentencing," and "[t]here will be no judgment", The Protect Democracy Project declares that "although the Government obtained a conviction, it then abandoned any efforts to prosecute the contempt."
After finding Joe Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt of court in July, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton recognized the validity of President Trump's August pardon of Arpaio, and on September 4, declared the case closed and vacated the sentencing date. However, she took under consideration whether her findings of criminal contempt should be wiped away - as Arpaio attorneys requested and the DOJ agreed.
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