Yesterday, President Donald Trump pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Following the announcement, former Deputy National Security Advisor for President Barack Obama Ben Rhodes challenged the decision over Twitter.
Check it out:
Obama used his pardon and commutation power to give a second chance to people who deserved empathy, not racists who showed none. https://t.co/KXhBQk5MHu
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) August 26, 2017
Here’s how people responded:
The 5 Taliban terrorists deserved empathy? How so?
— My Happy Face (@parashotz) August 26, 2017
Really Obama pardon a transgender traitor & a whole lot of other really bad people
— 🇺🇸Alex🇺🇸 (@thesupermanpac) August 26, 2017
Don't mean to start trouble, but what about Oscar Lopez Rivera? That one has always bothered me.
— DashingYoungMilkman (@myfriendmikey) August 26, 2017
Excuse me sir – he pardoned a terrorist! That was responsible for the murder of police officers!!! So you are off base on your tweet!
— Gerard Robson (@GerardRobson) August 26, 2017
Guess it depends on which side of the law you're on. Manning deserted & put many lives in jeopardy.Arpaio enforced law. Don't confuse truth.
— Dee Robinson (@DeeRobi31628176) August 26, 2017
This is the most partisan tweet I've read today and it's not even 10am.
— Jeff Toeniskoetter (@jstoeniskoetter) August 26, 2017
The Washington Post reports a number of controversial pardons made by Obama:
In that spirit, and unconstrained by reelection politics, President Obama used his last week in office to grant clemency to hundreds of federal prisoners, reducing the sentences of some and pardoning others outright.
Obama’s most controversial decision was to let Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning go after seven years of what was supposed to be a 35-year sentence for passing secret documents to WikiLeaks. Military and intelligence professionals were angered at the indulgent signal this might send.
He mad a number of other pardons, including the hotly contested pardon of Oscar Rivera:
The vast majority of Obama’s executive clemency orders affected people considered low-level, nonviolent participants in drug-dealing, plus a few odd cases such as that of baseball great Willie McCovey, whose conviction for failing to pay taxes on money he made signing autographs Obama reasonably wiped from the record.
What was Obama thinking, however, when he ordered the release of Oscar Lopez Rivera? During the 1970s, Lopez Rivera headed a Chicago-based cell of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), which waged a futile but violent struggle to win Puerto Rican independence.
The FALN claimed responsibility for more than 120 bombings between 1974 and 1983 in a wave of senseless destruction that killed six and injured dozens. In 1981, a federal court in Chicago sentenced Lopez Rivera, then 37, to 55 years for seditious conspiracy, armed robbery, interstate transportation of firearms and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property.