After losing the election to to former Phoenix cop Paul Penzone, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona just announced that he will hold a press conference where he will reveal ‘shocking’ findings about President Obama’s birth certificate.
The cranky bigot has fixated on the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate for more than five years, going so far as to send a deputy and member of his volunteer posse to Hawaii to question officials.
Arpaio, who is still facing a criminal contempt of court, took up the “birther” mantle as he faced some of his worst legal troubles, including a racial profiling case that discredited his patrols targeting immigrants and a grand jury inquiry into his failed investigations of local political enemies.
So, in a desperate effort to stay relevant ahead of the trial that could land him in jail, his office issued this announcement:
“Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Chief Investigator Mike Zullo will be presenting their newest revelations to the years long investigation of the birth certificate presented by the White House in 2011 of President Obama.”
In 2012, Arpaio said the investigation revealed that there was probable cause to believe Mr. Obama’s long-form birth certificate was a computer-generated forgery and that the selective service card completed by Mr. Obama in 1980 was likely a fraud.
The facts say otherwise. Hawaii officials repeatedly confirmed Mr. Obama’s citizenship, and the courts rebuffed a series of lawsuits.
Arpaio insisted he wasn’t investigating whether Mr. Obama was a U.S. citizen but examining an allegation that the document was fraudulent. But critics say it was a calculated swipe at the identity and legitimacy of the nation’s first African-American president.
Though Arpaio promised no taxpayer money would be spent on the investigation, the sheriff sent a deputy to Hawaii to accompany the posse’s top investigator. The sheriff said the posse would reimburse his office for the costs of the deputy’s travel and time.
At one time, Arpaio said the posse spent $40,000 in donations on the investigation. It’s not known how much it ultimately cost and whether the agency was reimbursed.
Arpaio’s stunt has been denounced as a shameless ploy to raise money from his right-wing base.