By Jim Kouri
Only hours after the U.S. Justice Department dropped their investigation of CIA agents, an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the U.S. Department of Justice announced that President Barack Obama and his Attorney General are ending the lengthy investigation into allegations of criminal conduct by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office in Maricopa County, Arizona.
In addition, the probe of current and former members of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, including former County Attorney Andrew Thomas, who was severely disciplined by the state, has been terminated by the Justice Department.
The investigating attorneys have advised Maricopa County Attorney William Montgomery of their decision to end their multi-million dollar investigation without charging anyone.
In a letter to Montgomery, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel stated:
“Federal prosecutors decided to not prosecute matters tied to alleged misuse of county credit cards by sheriff’s officials, alleged misspending of jail-enhancement funds and other matters. The U.S. Attorney’s Office had already made public it would not pursue charges on those matters.”
“Law enforcement officials are rightfully afforded a wide swath of discretion in deciding how to conduct investigations and prosecutions. Unfortunately, such discretion can act as a double-edged sword: although it empowers fair-minded prosecutors and investigators to discharge their duties effectively, it also affords potential for abuse. Our limited role is to determine whether criminal charges are supportable. After careful review, we do not believe the allegations presented to us are prosecutable as crimes.”
The Arpaio investigation began almost immediately after President Barack Obama moved into the Oval Office. Once his nominee for Attorney General, Eric Holder, was confirmed he immediately initiated investigations of CIA interrogators and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
“After spending almost $30 million on the Arpaio investigation, Holder ended up with zip. This was a case of using the Justice Department to bully a conservative law enforcement officer,” said political strategist and attorney Mike Baker.
The Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s immigration law left a key provision intact, but Obama closed it up by cutting off the state from the cooperation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). CNN’s headline read “Arizona Defanged by DHS.” But Sheriff Joe didn’t get the memo. He told Fox News host Neil Cavuto that “I’m not stopping anything. I’m not going to bend to the federal government, especially when we still have state laws to enforce.”
Immediately, Democrat operatives in Arizona and Washington started telling reporters that Arpaio was “defying the rule of law” — despite Obama himself bypassing Congress to create a law they refused to pass.
There are some who believe the reason for the Justice Department backing off is the investigation being conducted by Arpaio and his special posse into President Barack Obama’s background including documents such as his birth certificate, Social Security card, and other records.