Thursday, December 15, 2016

AUDIO: Sheriff Arpaio Knew He'd Have To Close His Obama Birth Certificate Investigation Before Election; Hangups and Lashouts: A Lunchtime Interview With Joe Arpaio

As promised to in the interview below, outgoing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is holding his final Obama birth certificate investigation press conference this afternoon. (4pm, Arizona Time)

It may not have been intentional, and it may have been spur of the moment, but Arizona's Politics had a chance to question Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio about his long-running Birther investigation several weeks ago.

It took place in the aftermath of Donald Trump's semi-successful effort to put the "Birther question" behind him. Arizona's Politics immediately looked to Arpaio for his reaction; Arpaio was an (unofficial) co-leader of the eight year simmering effort alleging that Barack Obama's birth certificate showing that he is an American citizen eligible to be President was forged.

Arpaio is also a Trump surrogate, speaking for him at the Republican National Convention and traveling to several states to rally crowds on his behalf. So, when the Arizona Republic's Richard Ruelas finally got and published Arpaio's reaction, it grabbed the national media's attention. That prompted the Sheriff to respond to our previous (and, renewed) request along with returning national reporters' calls.

Apparently, however, it was because Arpaio (or, his press people) mistakenly believed that we were the local affiliates of the national Politico organization. Efforts to correct the Sheriff fell on deaf ears.

Arpaio seemed surprised that the interview became a more in-depth exploration of the birth certificate investigation than he had expected. At one point, the conversation was abruptly ended on his end. It took a few call-back attempts before he eventually answered and picked up the conversation.

Unfortunately, because his initial call was out of the blue and we were on the freeway, the first portion of each of the two calls went unrecorded until we could safely pull over in a parking lot or on an off-ramp. Further, the questions were completely impromptu, based solely on previous reporting and reporting from the more widely-viewed media.

In the interview, the Sheriff calls a former Cold Case Posse member "a liar". It was clear that Arpaio was referring to Brian Reilly, who Arizona's Politics has spoken with on several occasions. Reilly has provided extensive corroborating evidence to Arizona's Politics (and the Arizona Republic), and Arpaio's efforts to discredit him without any support are weak, at best.

(In the recording, Sheriff Arpaio gives CCP investigator Mike Zullo's cell phone number. That number has been edited out. Also, Arizona's Politics had spoken with Zullo in the past, and he was non-responsive.)

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

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