Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio said Thursday he believes President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.
Arpaio, the 79-year-old Republican sheriff of Maricopa County, made the announcement at an Arizona news conference following his months-long, volunteer-staffed probe into the birth certificate released by the Obama administration last year.
Theories that the president’s birth certificate is fake have been widely discredited.
“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,” Arpaio said according to the Washington Times.
A report lays out what Arpaio’s investigators said were “anomalies” on the birth certificate released by the White House that are “inconsistent with features produced when a paper document is scanned.”
“Based on all of the evidence presented and investigated, I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic,” Arpaio said. “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.”
In addition to the birth certificate, his investigators also claimed Obama’s Selective Service card was forged.
Despite the findings, Arpaio repeatedly insisted he was not yet accusing anybody — including Obama — of committing a crime.
“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,” Arpaio said. “That’s what we’re working to, to find out who did it.”
Still, he implored Obama to come forward with “other documentation to put this to rest.”
“As I said at the beginning of the investigation, the president can put all this to rest quite easily,” Arpaio said. “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 said he embarked on his investigation after 250 people in Maricopa County came forward and formally requested he look into claims that the birth certificate was fake. Now that his results have been released, Arpaio said a congressional-level investigation might be warranted.
“I can’t let it die. We have evidence,” he said.