Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Obama Birth Certificate 'Manufactured Electronically'

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Maricopa County's Sheriff Joe Arpaio held a press conference today, suggesting that "probable cause exists indicating that forgery and fraud may have been committed" during the release of President Barack Obama's long-form birth certificate, CBS News reports.

President Obama's Citizenship questioned -- again

Today's findings are the culmination of a lengthy six-month investigation. The Washington Post reported in September 2011 that Sheriff Arpaio tasked his "Cold Case Posse" with a thorough investigation of the president's birth certificate. At issue was a tea party request to further research the authenticity of the president's birth certificate, such as it had been released by the White House.

The sheriff denies that his actions are politically motivated. "My door is open to everyone, and I don't kick them out. If a complaint is legitimate, I don't dump it into the wastebasket," he told investigators last year. Putting President Obama's citizenship once more into question, Arpaio states that the investigators "believe that the long form birth certificate was manufactured electronically." He further claims that there may be irregularities with respect to an existing paper copy of the document.

The sheriff's lead investigator concluded with a recommendation for a criminal investigation. There is no White House reaction to the press conference at this time.

Other Presidential Conspiracy Theories

Holding the United States' highest office is a task that appears to give rise to conspiracy theories from which no president, regardless of party membership, is immune. FactCheck debunked 2008 theories that President Obama was either a radical Muslim or a Christian with racist leanings. While allegations of racism may have found fuel in the utterings of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ's controversial preacher, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the suggestion that the president is Muslim may have stemmed from his middle name, Hussein.

Former President George W. Bush was linked with the elite Yale University lodge known as the "Skull and Bones." When 60 Minutes investigated the organization, the program was surprised to learn how small the order was, yet how many members held positions of high influence. Prior to the Bush administration, the Clinton administration, too, had its conspiracy theorists. Case in point is the July 20, 1993 suicide of White House counsel Vince Foster. As late as 1999, the BBC alleged that Hillary Clinton had an affair with an attorney for the White House, suggesting that these rumors came to light in the aftermath of Foster's suicide.

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