Following a Georgia judge’s ruling that Barack Obama is eligible to be on the state’s 2012 Democratic Party presidential ballot, the front lines in the continuing eligibility battle are being fought in Arizona.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told WND today his office has scheduled a news conference in Phoenix for March 1 to release findings of the Cold Case Posse that has been investigating Barack Obama’s birth certificate and eligibility to be president.
Arpaio declined to release to WND any of the posse’s conclusions in advance of the press conference, although he is on record saying the findings may be “shocking” to many.
In a separate matter, Arpaio told WND that a group of Department of Justice officials from Washington, D.C., began meeting with officials of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office regarding the DOJ’s allegation of systematic violations of the federal civil rights of Hispanics.
If the negotiations fail, the DOJ has threatened to take Arpaio and the MCSO to federal court, setting up an epic political battle just as Arpaio prepares to issue the results of the Cold Case Posse’s investigation.
Arpaio investigating Obama since September
Arpaio’s decision to investigate Obama follows a meeting held in his office Aug. 17 with tea party representatives from Surprise, Ariz., who presented a petition signed by more than 250 Maricopa County residents. The petitioners expressed concern that their voting rights could be irreparably compromised if Obama uses a forged birth certificate to be placed on the 2012 presidential ballot in Arizona or otherwise is found to be ineligible.
WND previously reported that the tea party letter formally stated the following charge: “The Surprise Tea Party is concerned that no law enforcement agency or other duly constituted government agency has conducted an investigation into the Obama birth certificate to determine if it is in fact an authentic copy of 1961 birth records on file for Barack Obama at the Hawaii Department of Health in Honolulu, or whether it, or they are forgeries.”
The posse, constituted under the authority of Arpaio’s office, consists of three former law enforcement officers and two retired attorneys with law enforcement experience. It has been examining evidence since September concerning Obama’s eligibility to be president under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution.
The Cold Case Posse conducting the investigation has been described as a “posse within the posse,” consisting of volunteers with professional experience in conducting investigations. It includes individuals chosen because of their professional backgrounds in law enforcement, lawyers who have participated in criminal or civil cases and individuals with specialized skills in fields ranging from accounting to conducting criminal forensic examination.
The posse was constituted as a 501(c)3 organization, designed to cost the people of Maricopa County nothing, while enabling people from around the country to contribute to its mission.
In total, more than 3,000 volunteers participate in Arpaio’s posse program. The power to constitute posses is authorized to Arizona sheriffs under the state constitution.
Showdown in Arizona
Arpaio and the Department of Justice are at loggerheads over whether the DOJ needs to provide proof of allegations that the MCSO is guilty of systematic violations of the federal civil rights of Hispanics.
“Prove it!” Arpaio challenged the DOJ in an exclusive interview with WND. “If Eric Holder has evidence that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has engaged in systematic violations of the civil rights of Hispanic, then show me the evidence.”
Arpaio has contended that the 22-page complaint the DOJ released Dec. 15 is nothing more than anecdotal and did not prove systematic sheriff’s department policies aimed at depriving Hispanics of their civil rights.
Nor was Arpaio concerned that the DOJ might take him and his sheriff’s office to federal court immediately, as it has threatened.
“If the Justice Department wants to take me to court, I’m ready,” Arpaio said.
The sheriff said that if the DOJ “wants to debate the facts instead of fixing the problems stated in our findings, we will do so by way of litigation.”
Those wishing to send a tax-deductible contribution directly to the Cold Case Posse may do so by mailing a check or money order to: MCSO Cold Case Posse, P.O. Box 74374, Phoenix, AZ 85087.