Three months after the U.S. Justice Department alleged that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office had violated the civil rights of Latinos in Arizona, the self-described “Toughest Sheriff in America” responded with brash defiance.
Three months after the U.S. Justice Department alleged that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office had violated the civil rights of Latinos in Arizona, the self-described “Toughest Sheriff in America” responded with brash defiance — by holding a March news conference questioning President Obama’s citizenship.
It isn’t clear what jurisdiction is claimed by Arpaio’s department, which The Associated Press last December accused of inadequately investigating more than 400 sex crime cases, many involving children of undocumented immigrants. But Arpaio’s intrepid investigators found pretty much what they were expected to — that “probable evidence exists indicating forgery and fraud may have been committed.”
“I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic,” a solemn Arpaio said of Obama’s birth certificate and Selective Service card. “My investigators believe that the long-form birth certificate was manufactured electronically and that it did not originate in the paper format as claimed by the White House.”
Arpaio’s “findings” were only the latest claims to come from a small but quixotic group of critics who have tirelessly hounded the president with questions about his citizenship — people like far-right WorldNet Daily publisher Joseph Farah (see also profile, p. 29), conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, and attorney Orly Taitz. Obama’s release last year of his “long-form” birth certificate has convinced this crew of nothing.
But fewer and fewer Americans pay them much heed.
Last February, Taitz actually took her case to court, hoping to finally get a legal ruling after a judge in Georgia agreed to hear it. On her personal blog before a hearing, she exulted, “I can’t believe this. … [Obama] will have to stand trial to prove his eligibility for office.”
But before that great day finally came, Georgia Administrative Law Judge Michael Malihi dismissed Taitz’s claims, saying in a 10-page decision that the evidence she presented was “wholly insufficient to support [her] allegations.” Malihi also noted that Taitz had failed to show that any of her witnesses were actually experts, and ruled that neither their testimony nor her exhibits proved her claim that the president is a former Indonesian citizen who used a fake name, stolen Social Security number and forged birth certificate to become president.