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In a major development in his probe of Barack Obama’s eligibility for Arizona’s 2012 presidential ballot, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has dispatched his lead Cold Case Posse investigator and a deputy detective to Hawaii.
The mission to Obama’s purported birthplace comes as the Hawaii Department of Health continues to resist efforts by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett to verify that the Honolulu agency has a valid birth certificate on file for Obama.
Former Bergen County, N.J., detective Mike Zullo and his volunteer team were commissioned by Arpaio last September to investigate Obama’s eligibility after citizens raised concerns about the authenticity of the birth record the White House posted on its website. Zullo’s team announced March 1 that it found probable cause that the document is a forgery.
Zullo’s investigation is a volunteer effort, but the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has sent him to Hawaii with an MCSO deputy detective for safety reasons and to act as a liaison between MCSO and local law enforcement.
WND reporter Jerome Corsi is embedded with the investigators in Hawaii with the provision that reporting during the trip be curtailed to protect the investigation.
Arpaio told WND Friday that the Hawaii Department of Health’s refusal to confirm to Bennett that it has a valid Obama birth certificate on file makes it look like Hawaii officials “are hiding something.”
Bennett has said that he might keep Obama’s name off of the state’s presidential ballot if he doesn’t receive the confirmation.
Eight weeks ago, the secretary of state asked Hawaii officials merely for an email confirming the Department of Health has a certified copy of the birth certificate, but Hawaii officials have not complied.
Zullo told WND Friday that Hawaii’s refusal to comply “is just another outright, glaring display of stonewalling that the Sheriff’s Office has encountered since Day One conducting this investigation.”
Zullo said “common sense at this point should be everyone’s guide.”
“If this was a non-issue, it wouldn’t be going on eight weeks waiting for the state of Hawaii to verify anything,” he said.
Over the weekend, KTVK-TV in Phoenix reported the Hawaii attorney general’s office has told Bennett he needs to take certain steps to confirm Obama’s birth records.
The steps include Bennett proving that he “legitimately needs confirmation to update records at his office.”
Zullo told WND that Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office investigators have spoken at length with Bennett regarding the president’s birth record. Zullo said his team spoke with Bennett as recently as last week.
“We are in the beginning stages of enlightening him to critical information that the sheriff has acquired during this investigation,” Zullo said.
‘It looks like they’re hiding something’
Arpaio’s team also is investigating the president’s Selective Service registration form, which his team also found probable cause to be a forgery.
He told WND he’s not getting much cooperation with federal and state governments.
“But that doesn’t matter; we’re still going to continue our investigation and see if those documents are forged,” he said.
Regarding the Hawaii Department of Health, Arpaio noted he’s said since the beginning of the investigation last fall, “Show me the microfilm.”
“They won’t do that, so it looks like they’re hiding something,” he said.
Arpaio said he will continue his investigation regardless of whether or not Obama gets on the ballot.
In an interview last Thursday with Phoenix radio host Mike Broomhead of KFYI, Bennett was asked if he would remove Obama’s name from the ballot if Hawaii won’t reply to his request.
“That’s possible. Or the other option would be that I would ask all the candidates, including the president, to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate,” Bennett said.
Bennett explained that under Hawaii law, government officials can request verification that the state has possession of a valid birth certificate.
“They could say yes tomorrow, and the whole thing goes away,” Bennett said. “If they can’t say yes to that simple question, then it makes me wonder if we have to take it to another level.”
Bennett said that regardless of Hawaii’s response, he needs “to have to have some simple verification that people are qualified for the office if they’re going to be on the ballot here in Arizona.”
The Arizona official insisted he’s not a “birther” and denied he’s trying to appease “birthers” because he wants to run for governor.
“I believe the president was born in Hawaii – or at least I hope he was,” Bennett said.