Obama birth certificate is a forgery, Arizona sheriff claims


Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain (R) speaks during a news conference with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio at Arpaio's headquarters October 17, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.


Joshua Lott

An Arizona sheriff analyzed President Barack Obama's birth certificate and found "probable cause" that the document was made by "forgery and fraud," he announced this week.

The White House released Obama's birth certificate last year to discredit a group of conspiracy theorists known as "birthers," who claimed that Obama was born outside of the United States. 

In a press conference Thursday, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County said his investigators found that the "the long-form birth certificate was manufactured electronically" and "did not originate in a paper format as claimed by the White House," BBC News reported. He launched the investigation at the request of Arizona Tea Party members. 

Arpaio's investigators said that specifically, the "date stamp and registrar's stamp appear to have been imported from unknown outside sources," ABC News reported

More from GlobalPost: Germany battles over the future of solar energy

The investigation lasted six months and was carried about by a five-member volunteer "posse," Reuters reported.

Arpaio's critics have accused him of investigating the birth certificate to distract the public from his own controversies, the BBC said.

In December, the US Justice Department found that Arpaio routinely discriminated against Latinos, the New York Times reported. Arpaio, who styles himself as "America's toughest sheriff," has been a strong supporter of Arizona's controversial anti-immigration laws.

The Phoenix New Times has an entire page devoted to all of its reports on Sheriff Joe Arpaio from the past 15 years. Even before the US Justice Department investigation, the Phoenix New Times found that Arpaio "has fostered horrendous jail conditions, reckless police operations, and carried out personal vendettas against political rivals and members of the press." Its most recent story on the page, published in February, said that Arpaio failed to properly investigate sex-abuse cases, which resulted in suspected rapists and child molesters being let off the hook. 

Obama's press secretary posted a link to Arpaio's press conference on his Twitter feed...only the link actually sent people to an X-Files video.