Bill Montgomery Entertains "Birther" Over Joe Arpaio's Probe of Obama's Birth Certificate

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

As evidenced by Secretary of State Ken Bennett's dabbling in the "birther" theories, elected officials around the state have probably received a decent amount of phone calls and emails asking them to help further the embarrassment of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "investigation" into President Obama.

One such recipient of that attention is Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who's actually taken the time to respond to at least one of the conspiracy theorists.

See also:
-Joe Arpaio's New Birther "Evidence," as Usual, Was Debunked Months Ago
-Lemons: Ken Bennett's "Birther" Request Shows the Insanity of Arizona's GOP

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office provided some of Montgomery's e-mails in response to a New Times records request, including a conversation with Brian Reilly, a "tea party leader" from Surprise.

In response to Reilly begging Montgomery to assemble a grand jury to review Arpaio's findings, Mongtomery lets him know that's probably not going to happen, since he doesn't think he has jurisdiction.

"From the Sheriff's Office investigation into suspect documents produced by the White House to date, that investigation has not revealed any evidence that conduct occurred in Maricopa County," Montgomery writes. "I have discussed this with the Sheriff."

Montgomery continues, "As for any issues regarding qualifications or information provided regarding the Presidential Election itself, that is a statewide election. Under Arizona law, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General have jurisdiction over statewide elections. I do not."

Montgomery also wrote a delicately worded response to Reilly's request that the county attorney charge nobody in particular with "fraudulent schemes and practices," a charge similar to forgery or fraud.

"Specifically, we would need evidence to affirmatively prove that Mr. Obama is not a US citizen," Montgomery writes. "To date there has been evidence presented leading to speculation that documents have been forged and other documents do not exist. That alone, though, is not sufficient evidence to present to a grand jury and actually have a reasonable likelihood of conviction."

Additionally, even though Arpaio's continued to insist that there's "probable cause to believe forgery and fraud occurred" with Obama's birth certificate, Montgomery appears to dispute that.

"I will share with you, as well, that the criminal statute you cited in your message requires additional evidence that the MCSO investigation to date has not uncovered," Montgomery writes.

Reilly continued to write back to Montgomery about the definition of a "natural-born citizen," although Montgomery's responses were mostly, I'll take a look.

Montgomery did assure Reilly that he'll prosecute a case submitted to him if there evidence is there -- "regardless of who the suspect/defendant may be."

You can find one of Montgomery's responses to Reilly below:

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.