Donald Trump's favorite sheriff is still a birther: Joe Arpaio says 5-year investigation proves President Obama birth certificate fake

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio lost his bid for re-election, but won't give up his birther campaign

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published December 16, 2016 1:30PM (EST)

  (AP Photo/Matt York, File)
(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

After nearly 24 years as Maricopa County Sheriff, the right-wing Arizona lawman known for forcing inmates into pink underwear and desert tents, lost his bid for re-election, even as Donald Trump won the presidency. Now, as the birther-in-chief prepares to succeed the nation's first African-American president, Sheriff Joe Arpaio is leaving office with one final public appeal to press the case Barack Obama was born outside of the United States.

Arpaio held a press conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the "newest revelations" in his long-running "investigation" into Obama's birth certificate.

The investigation concluded that the birth certificate was a "fraudulently created document, which has been represented as an official copy of the original birth certificate of President Obama," Arpaio claimed. "We and anyone else who dare to question the document have been maligned, falsely labeled, grossly criticized in the bulk of the media, certain internet sources, for years."

For five years, Arpaio has been peddling the false birther myth that elevated Trump to the White House. Ahead of the 2012 election, Arpaio dispatched a deputy and his volunteer posse to Hawaii as part of his so-called criminal investigation into Obama’s birth certificate.

"We feel that that document is a forgery," Arpaio said when officials informed his team that the birth certificate released by the White House was authentic. "We're trying to figure out who did it. That's good police work."

The sheriff's allegations made him the poster child of the birther movement,

In September, Arpaio told a Tea Party group that he was “not going to give up” on the matter of Obama’s citizenship after Trump reluctantly said that he finally believed Obama was born in the United States.

In a more than hour-long press conference carried live by local television stations, Arpaio and his lead investigator in the case, Mike Zullo, who heads a nonprofit called the Cold Case Posse, a group of volunteers, presented a short video called “Nine Points of Forgery,” in which an unnamed voice alleged various problems with Obama’s birth certificate. The major revelation centered on how the copy of Obama’s 1961 birth certificate supposedly matched up with another certificate, made 16 days later, by the same office.

"I have a 54-year old copy of a document that was 16 years ago," Zullo exclaimed, alleging that a photo from the White House of the birth certificate was obviously altered.

“I really want that to sink in,” he said.

Zullo said that he "grilled" WorldNewsDaily's Jerome Corsi for 16 hours to corroborate his investigation. "They are on to something," he insisted.

"They are on to something," he insisted, completely unfazed by the fact that President Obama only has 35 days left in office.

For his part, Arpaio only has two weeks left in office and is facing yet another lawsuit accusing his office of racial profiling. Perhaps Arpaio may end up being Trump's first pardon. The president-elect's favorite sheriff heads to trial for a federal charge of contempt of court shortly after Trump takes office.

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Birther Birther Movement Donald Trump Joe Arpaio President Obama Sheriff Joe Arpaio