Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio vowed Tuesday not to give up on his yearslong investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate, which the sheriff described as a “forged document.”
“I’m not going to give up, and we’re looking into it,” the sheriff told a crowd of Surprise Tea Party Patriots in Phoenix, The Arizona Republic reported. “I don’t know how it’s going to turn out.”
“I don’t care where he’s from,” Sheriff Arpaio said. “We are looking at a forged document. Period.”
Sheriff Arpaio appeared undeterred by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s acknowledgment that Mr. Obama was undoubtedly born in the United States.
“I had nothing to do with Trump on the birth certificate,” the sheriff told the crowd. “We did it on our own, because of you guys.”
Sheriff Arpaio launched his volunteer Cold Case Posse to investigate the president’s birth certificate in 2011, just days after the Surprise Tea Party petitioned him to do so.
“They’re the ones that got me stuck in this thing,” the sheriff told The Republic after his speech.
Sheriff Arpaio started his investigation months after Mr. Trump became the face of the “birther” movement. Hoping to finally put the controversy to rest, Mr. Obama in 2011 published an image of his long-form birth certificate on the White House website, The Republic reported.
Mr. Trump finally said Friday that he believed Mr. Obama was born in the U.S., but he has not elaborated on what changed his mind after all this time.
Mike Zullo, the commander of Sheriff Arpaio’s posse, told the crowd Tuesday that he knew Mr. Trump’s statement was a “punch in the gut, because it was unexpected.”
“It’s not going to deter us,” Mr. Zullo said. “It’s not going to stop us. I am closer than ever.”