Joe Arpaio, the Arizona Sheriff who has drawn the interest of Republican presidential candidates and federal criminal prosecutors alike, revealed the results of his months-long investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate today and concluded that the document is mostly likely forged. The Maricopa County Sheriff even has a “person of interest,” though he refused to reveal the name. “A fraud has been committed,” Arpaio’s volunteer chief investigator warned. “The document is fake.”
In a lengthy and delirious press conference that relied on a mix of pseudo-science and innuendo, Arpaio and his dower band of volunteer investigators rolled out a series of films that depict documents being Xeroxed and scanned into Adobe software to supposedly show that someone forged Obama’s birth certificate. “This is serious. This is very serious,” the investigator said. The probe was apparently also aided by serial fabulist Jerome Corsi, of the birther-obsessed website WorldNetDaily.
At the close of the event, Arpaio acknowledged that many would see his investigation as “silly, pointless, trite,” but said, “I hope that maybe you’ll have a change of opinion.”
However, Arpaio and his “posse” not only expect Americans to believe that the president forged his birth certificate, but that he did a really terrible job of it. Apraio’s posse uncovered so many apparent errors hiding in plain sight that it seems impossible no one would have found them before.
Arpaio was careful to say he is not accusing the president of breaking the law, but said there is “enough evidence to support probable cause.” He’s considering calling for a Congressional investigation or other law enforcement probe. A Republican state lawmaker was even on hand the lend his credibility, and said several of his colleagues were also interested in perusing the matter.
Perhaps this is not surprising from a man embroiled in so many scandals that there’s a 6,000 word Wikipedia article dedicated to “Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office controversies.” Some will say that Arpaio should probably be using his office’s taxpayer-funded resources to investigate the hundreds of child sex-crimes that he and his deputies neglected, but that’s a matter for Maricopa County voters.
What’s more troubling is that so many mainstream Republicans, especially those running president, have been so eager to associate themselves with Arpaio.