House Democrats on Wednesday asked House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., to investigate the circumstances surrounding President Trump's pardon of former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
"We ask that you convene an oversight hearing on this controversial pardon and surrounding events as soon as possible," they wrote in a letter to Goodlatte.
The letter said the pardon was a "gross injustice" because Arpaio ignored a court order to stop arresting people based on suspicion of their immigration status.
It added that given the state of race relations in the U.S., the pardon was "both inappropriate and deeply disturbing."
Arpaio, 85, was convicted of criminal contempt earlier this year after he failed to comply with a court order.
His pardon has raised questions from both Democrats and Republicans, especially because the White House announced the pardon on a Friday as Hurricane Harvey was making landfall in Texas.
"We recognize that the Constitution grants the President the sweeping ‘power to grand reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States,'" the letter continued. "Still, that power can be abused."
The Democrats also noted that they have requested an oversight hearing into the Trump administration five times since he took office on other matters, but have not yet been granted one.
On Twitter, Ranking Member John Conyers, D-Mich., also drew attention to the failure of the committee to hold hearings.
Arpaio was elected to be Sheriff of Maricopa County in 1993 and then lost re-election to Democrat Paul Penzone in 2016. He has been the subject of several federal civil rights lawsuits throughout his career.