The first thing former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio asked when he was told he had received a presidential pardon for contempt of court over going beyond what a judge set as a limit for chasing down potential criminals was whether or not it was fake.
He said, after all, that he was experienced in fake government documents.
According to the Arizona Republic newspaper, Arpaio’s lawyer, Mark Golden, delivered an emailed copy of Friday’s presidential pardon to Arpaio while the former sheriff was celebrating at a birthday event for his wife, Ava.
The pardon reads: “I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting: Be it known that this day, I, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, pursuant to my powers under Article II, Section 2, Clause 1, of the Constitution, have granted unto Joseph M. Arpaio a full and unconditional pardon.”
Arpaio’s response, the report said, “Is this a fake?”
“I’m very good at investigating fake government documents,” he told the reporter.
It was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the years-long investigation by his Cold Case Posse of the validity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
At issue was whether or not Obama was a “natural born citizen,” a term that is not defined by the Constitution. Complaints about Obama’s status went nowhere in U.S. courts during the first four years of his presidency.
Arpaio, however, assigned the only official law enforcement investigation of the issue.
The conclusion: What Obama released to the public in a White House news conference likely is a forgery.
The evidence that was presented in 2016:
Arpaio’s posse found there is probable cause to believe Obama’s document is a computer-generated forgery.
Arapaio, known for his strict enforcement of immigration laws, commissioned the investigative team after local citizens presented him with a petition expressing concern that Obama might not be eligible for Arizona’s presidential ballot.
The posse, comprised of former law-enforcement officers and lawyers with law-enforcement experience, interviewed dozens of witnesses and examined hundreds of documents. It also took numerous sworn statements from witnesses around the world.
Mike Zullo, Arpaio’s lead investigator, said at the time his team believed the Hawaii Department of Health has engaged in a systematic effort to hide from public inspection any original 1961 birth records it may have in its possession.
“Officers of the Hawaii Department of Health and various elected Hawaiian public officials may have intentionally obscured 1961 birth records and procedures to avoid having to release to public inspection and to the examination of court-authorized forensic examiners any original Obama 1961 birth records the Hawaii Department of Health may or may not have,” Zullo said at the time.
The investigators say the evidence contained in the computer-generated PDF file released by the White House as well as important deficiencies in the Hawaii process of certifying the long-form birth certificate establish probable cause that a forgery has been committed.
The investigation was launched after 250 members of the Surprise, Arizona, tea party presented a signed petition to Arpaio in August 2011 asking him to undertake the investigation.
The tea party members petitioned under the premise that if a forged birth certificate was used to place Obama on the 2012 Arizona presidential ballot, their rights as Maricopa County voters could be compromised.
The Cold Case Posse advised Arpaio that they believe forgers committed two crimes. First, they say it appears the White House fraudulently created a forgery that it characterized as an officially produced governmental birth record. Second, the White House fraudulently presented to the residents of Maricopa County and to the American public at large a forgery represented as “proof positive” of President Obama’s authentic 1961 Hawaii long-form birth certificate.
View the entire news conference of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “Cold Case Posse”:
Arpaio’s legal troubles began with the American Civil Liberties Union suing him for alleged racial profiling.
CNN characterized pointedly noted that while political critics of Arpaio and the president condemned the action, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts had no comment.
In a separate report on Monday, the Washington Examiner said Arpaio may consider a run for the U.S. Senate to challenge Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.
WND reported Friday Trump’s announcement regarding the pardon.
The White House said, “In 1992, the problems facing his community pulled Arpaio out of retirement to return to law enforcement. He ran and won a campaign to become sheriff of Maricopa County.
“Throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.”
The statement continued, “Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our bation, he is worthy candidate for a presidential pardon.”
The White House said Arpaio’s career began at the age of 18 when he enlisted in the military after the outbreak of the Korean War.
His accomplishments “exemplify selfless public service,” the statement said.
“After serving in the Army, Arpaio became a police officer in Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas, Nev., and later served as a Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), formerly the Bureau of Narcotics. After 25 years of admirable service, Arpaio went on to lead the DEA’s branch in Arizona,” it said.
It was only a few nights earlier that the president, speaking at a rally, had advised the audience that he was confident Sheriff Joe would be “all right.”
Known as “America’s toughest sheriff” for his no-nonsense approach to law enforcement and his strong opposition to illegal immigration, Arpaio was the first to sue Obama over his 2014 administrative orders, which allowed another 4 or 5 million illegal aliens to remain in the United States.
Arpaio had been at odds with the Obama administration since its beginning, mostly over illegal immigration. The sheriff sued because of the impact illegal aliens have on the safety and security of his county’s residents. Federal officials, in turn, have accused him of not treating illegals properly.
A split panel of federal judges said Arpaio didn’t have standing to sue, with the minority expressing outrage that the concerns of the sheriff of one of the nation’s largest counties, on the border with Mexico, would be dismissed.