In a press conference Thursday, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced that he and his Cold Case Posse had found evidence that Barack Obama's birth certificate was an electronic forgery, reigniting the debate over the president's citizenship.
According to Arpaio, the investigators have determined neither when nor how the alleged forgery occurred, but they believe they have enough evidence to establish probable cause that a crime was committed.
Arpaio is also not sure who would have been responsible for the alleged crimes, but he does not intend to attack the president.
"I'm not going after Obama," said Arpaio. "I'm just doing my job."
In their report, the Cold Case Posse of retired law enforcement professionals explained that they suspected the document was fake because the Hawaii Department of Health Registrar's name and date stamps show up on different layers when the file is opened in photo editing software.
Additionally, Arpaio's team believes that Obama's Selective Service Registration card may have been forged and the Immigration and Naturalization Service Registration Cards from the week of his birth destroyed.
Sheriff Arpaio used Thursday's press conference to call for an investigation, although he believes that Hawaii officials should not be responsible.
"Will they do an independent investigation, fair, honest, professional?" Arpaio asked. "I don't know."
The controversy over Obama's birth certificate has plagued his campaign even before his election. The president released his long-form birth certificate last April, and its veracity has been confirmed by Hawaii officials on multiple occasions.
In spite of Arpaio's accusations, the Obama campaign does not seem to be taking the sheriff's claims particularly seriously.
On Thursday, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt tweeted a link to a "live feed of Sheriff Arpaio's press conference," that directed users to a YouTube clip of the X-Files opening theme. LaBolt also offered a link to a coffee mug for sale in the Obama campaign store that has the birth certificate on one side and "Made In America" on the other.
Arpaio's latest investigation comes while he is facing mounting legal troubles of his own.
In addition to a Justice Department investigation from December that claimed Arpaio had been involved in racial profiling against Latinos, he has also come under fire from critics for mishandling more than 400 sex crime cases between 2004 and 2007.