When Arizona’s notorious sheriff, Joe Arpaio, spoke in support of Donald Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention, he signaled the depth of their friendship when he noted that Trump phoned Arpaio’s cancer-stricken wife during the campaign. And he assured the RNC crowd that he and Trump were simpatico on hardline immigration enforcement measures, proclaiming that Trump would get that border wall built. The audience roared in approval. At 84, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was a bona fide GOP celeb.
But what a difference a year makes. Arpaio suffered a humiliating defeat in the 2016 election. And now the Department of Justice—under Trump—has wrapped up its prosecution of the former sheriff in a criminal contempt of court trial in Phoenix. If convicted, the former sheriff—now 85—could spend up to six months in prison.