AZ sheriff Joe Arpaio fuels Tea Party nuttiness with birther ‘citizen grand jury’ fantasy
In a recent speech before Tea Partiers in California, controversial Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio stated that he’d like to convene a ‘citizens grand jury’ to look into President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, but that it would be “tough” to do so.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a video uploaded to YouTube — which has since been made private — shows Arpaio answering a question about using a so-called ‘citizens grand jury,’ a tactic employed by anti-government sovereign citizen’s groups to administer their own brand of justice.
In the video, an attendee at the Ramona , California event asked Arpaio if he would consider convening a citizens trial in a Maricopa ‘fraud’ case, ” Why don’t you form a citizens grand jury to bring indictments against these people, and when you get no response from it, then you can form a citizens trial court — ?”
Arpaio interrupted the questioner, and changed the focus to one of his well-known obsessions: proving President Barack Obama was not born in America. He conceded it would be tough, even in his capacity as a sheriff.
“I heard about that. You know what I was looking at? It wasn’t for that. I was looking at it for the birth certificate. If I was gonna do a citizens grand jury, it would be because of that, ” Arpaio then added, ” It’s a little tough. Legally, it’s a little tough. You know, I am the sheriff, but I still have some restrictions. I gotta use a little common sense.”
Arpaio went on to assure the audience that he not afraid to “take on the president,” saying “now, don’t think I’m chicken.”
The sheriff was unable to finish his train of thought as the questioner interrupted him, volunteering to move to Maricopa County — free of charge — to head up the sovereign citizen’s birther inquisition.