It was Friday night. Harvey had become a Category 4 hurricane and was about to hit the Texas coast. That’s when Donald Trump announced his pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The worst storm to hit the mainland in 12 years was not on the radar of Trump’s political calculations. The hurricane could wait. The pressing matter was to pardon a man who had violated the Constitution, discriminated against Latinos and had been convicted of criminal contempt of court.

A 2007 lawsuit accused the sheriff’s office of stopping and detaining people because of the way they looked. Three years later, the Justice Department sued Maricopa County, claiming that Arpaio’s agents “engaged in a widespread pattern or practice of law enforcement and jail activities that discriminated

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