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Story highlights

The White House is prepared for President Trump to pardon the former sheriff

He signaled the pardon would happen soon during his rally Tuesday night

(CNN) —  

The White House has prepared the paperwork for President Trump to pardon former sheriff Joe Arpaio when he makes the final decision to do so, CNN has learned.

An administration official said the White House has also prepared talking points to send to surrogates after he is pardoned.

One of the talking points is that Arpaio served his country for 50 years in the military, the Drug Enforcement Administration and as Arizona’s Maricopa County sheriff, and that it is not appropriate to send him to prison for “enforcing the law” and “working to keep people safe.”

Arpaio, an early Trump supporter, was found guilty last month of criminal contempt for disregarding a court order in a racial profiling case. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 5.

Though the timing remains unclear, the President alluded that he would soon pardon Arpaio during his rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Tuesday night.

“I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy,” Trump said, after Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said he would “inflame passions” if he did so.

“I’ll make a prediction,” Trump added. “I think he’s going to be just fine.”

Arpaio was not invited to the rally, he told CNN.