reports Arpaio announced on Thursday the "preliminary results of investigation" conducted by members of his cold case posse volunteer task force.
According to ABC News
, Arpaio said the findings come after a six-month investigation by the group of volunteers, many of whom have law enforcement services background.
The Washington Times
reports the Republican Sheriff Arpaio, 79, said at a news conference held in Phoenix, Arizona: “A six-month long investigation conducted by my cold case posse has lead me to believe there is probable cause to believe that President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate released by the White House on April 27, 2011, is a computer-generated forgery."
reports Arpaio said: "We believe probable cause exists indicating that forgery and fraud may have been committed, not only in President Obama's long-form birth certificate, but more disturbing evidence suggests that another fraud may have been committed regarding his selective service registration card."
Arpaio, according to The Blaze
, said: “Based on all of the evidence presented and investigated, I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic. My investigators believe that the long-form birth certificate was manufactured electronically and that it did not originate in paper format as claimed by the White House.”
Arpaio said that the "date stamp and registrar's stamp appear to have been imported from unknown outside sources."
According to the sheriff, forensic examination of the birth certificate showed it was not simply scanned to create a computer file but that it was assembled from several pieces. Arpaio said: "We don't know who the perpetrators are of these documents," but he said he does not think the president himself forged them.
reports Arpaio said: “A continuing investigation is needed to identify the identity of the person or persons involved in creating the alleged birth certificate forgery, and to determine who, if anyone, in the White House or the state of Hawaii may have authorized the forgery. That‘s what we’re working to, to find out who did it...As I said at the beginning of the investigation, the president can put all this to rest quite easily. All he has to do is demand the Hawaii Department of Health release to the American public and to a panel of certified court-authorized forensic examiners all original 1961 paper, microfilm, and computer birth records the Hawaii Department of Health has in its possession.”
Arpaio, defending his decision to investigate Obama's certificate, said he began the investigation last August after nearly 250 people with connections to the Arizona's Tea Party group requested the investigation. He said: "I'm not going after Obama. I'm just doing my job."
Arpaio's critics say, however, he is only trying to divert attention from his own problems. Huffington Post
reports Democratic state Sen. Steve Gallardo, said Arpaio is pandering to the critics of the president. Gallardo said: "It doesn't matter what President Obama does, they'll never support him. It's those folks who will continue to write checks to Sheriff Joe because of this stuff."
quotes Arpaio reacting to charges from his critics: "You say I need this to get elected? Are you kidding me? I've been elected five times. I don't need this."
Arpaio is facing a federal grand jury investigation on criminal abuse-of-power. The U.S. Justice Department accused him of racial profiling of Latinos. MSNBC
reports his department is accused of basing immigration enforcement on racially biased citizen complaints and "punishing Hispanic jail inmates for speaking Spanish."
His department is also accused of inadequately investigating 400 sex-crime cases over a three-year period ending in 2007. Arpaio denies these allegations and says the investigations are politically motivated.
Obama's birth certificate is a longstanding issue with his opponents. After Donald Trump questioned whether he fulfilled the constitutional requirement that anyone seeking office of President of the U.S. must be born in the country, the White House released copies of the birth certificate to put an end to conspiracy theories being circulated on the issue.
The latest allegations show that for the so-called "birther movement," the controversy over Obama's country of birth remains alive.
Press Secretary to the Obama campaign Ben LaBollt, according to ABC News
, tweeted a link to watch the live feed of Arpaio's announcement, but clicking on the link takes you to the theme song from "The X-Files," a TV show based on conspiracy theories.
reports Arpaio's press conference coincides with the day Obama's campaign unveiled its new Facebook timeline. At the bottom page is a message that reads: "Born on August 4, 1961. Made in the USA." The post shows a coffee mug with Obama's birth certificate on it.