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Archive | September, 2015

Still Waiting for Zullo

We’ve been waiting for a long time to see any number of items talked about, but never delivered by Mike Zullo. I wrote about that in my first article titled, “Waiting for Zullo” back in 2013 where I listed 34 such items, and the answers are still not forthcoming.

One hoped, perhaps too optimistically, that some of the answers might come from Mike Zullo’s deposition scheduled for next Wednesday, October 7. The subpoena of Zullo also requested all documents in his possession related to investigations of public officials on behalf of Arpaio and all correspondence with a list of individuals, starting December 23, 2011 and extending to the present. Arpaio’s defense team has moved, the day before the documents were due, to quash that subpoena. The motion to quash argues that the production of documents is a hardship for Mr. Zullo, and provides him with insufficient time. Defense also claims that the subpoena is overly broad, noting that the subpoena extends back roughly 2 years prior to any involvement with Dennis Montgomery (which we now know thanks to the subpoena started in the Fall of 2013). The Defense claims that it will take the full-time activity of Mike Zullo “weeks” at his own expense to respond with all the subpoena asks for. The subpoena was served on Mr. Zullo on September 24 evening and demands delivery of the documents by September 30. The motion to quash states that the subpoena was issued “on late September 25” but that was the day that the attorneys were served, not Zullo. Indeed the motion to quash states:

Plaintiffs’ filed three subpoenas on September 25, 2015 with this court, but have not indicated that they have served Mr. Zullo.

In fact, the subpoena filed on September 25 with the Court clearly shows service of Mr. Zullo on the preceding day (see page 37).

While not argued in the subpoena, Arpaio’s counsel takes a shot at Plaintiffs in a footnote:

In addition, Plaintiffs have known for months about Mr. Zullo and his role with MCSO in this action, but failed to ever serve a subpoena on him. Plaintiffs apparently believe they are entitled to rolling discovery in this case with absolutely no limitations or regards to Defendants’ rights. Indeed, Plaintiffs’ Notice of Subpoenas does not provide any reason as to why this information is relevant let alone why there is good cause that it should be discoverable now, or why it should be produced on such an expedited timetable. Plaintiffs had ample opportunity to discover their requested information, but failed to do so, and now seek to recover this information when proceedings are ongoing, in a further attempt to continue their “trial by fire” litigation tactics.

The Zullo subpoena requests documents in “native format.” Native format is the format in which the information is usually maintained on the producing party’s system.  A problem with such raw data is that individual items, such as emails, cannot easily referenced (by a the “Bates number” we keep hearing about in testimony), cannot be redacted, cannot be marked confidential, and cannot be viewed without the application software that produced it; however, it is the format with the least cost to produce.  An email folder may consist internally on the computer as a single file that could be copied to a flash drive. Paper documents have to be scanned, but who uses paper any more? OK, Arpaio only has a typewriter. Never mind.

I cannot count the number of times in my IT career that I asked “what format do you want it in?” in response to requests for information. I would suggest to Zullo that he take the subpoena literally, and just dump the files. If Zullo’s information is not well-organized, then it could take a fair amount of time to separate what is responsive to the subpoena vs. what is not. Considering how long it has taken Hillary Clinton to respond with her emails, perhaps 5 days is a bit short of the requisite time for Mike Zullo to sort through his, quaquaquaqua.


Plaintiffs modify subpoena

In court documents filed yesterday, Plaintiffs have modified the Mike Zullo subpoena changing the start date for the documents requested from December 23, 2011, to September 1, 2013. Also the “catch all” language referring to “any employee of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office” is deleted, as well as emails to and from Brian Sands. There is also an updated delivery deadline of October 5, 2015. Plaintiffs indicated that the earlier date was a mistake and that Mr. Zullo was re-served with the correct date on September 25. Plaintiffs defend the “any elected official” language, saying:

Documents showing any discussion relating to this litigation or investigation by Mr. Zullo or others, targeting any judge or elected official, during the requested time frame, are also material to this Court’s determination of whether the retention of Dennis Montgomery reflects Sheriff Arpaio’s use of Mr. Zullo to target and investigate the Sheriff’s perceived opponents, which will case light on the activities of Mr. Zullo relative to this Court and case.

Plaintiffs observe that Zullo may have emails from certain MCSO staff that were not turned over by those individuals previously, but perhaps should have been.



More Melendres hot water

While the soup pot for Mike Zullo warms up in anticipation of October 7, there is another area under scrutiny. It deals with the failure of the MCSO to produce 1,500 ID’s confiscated by MCSO that the Court says it had ordered be delivered.  Subsequently US Marshals took possession of the IDs. There was a suggestion that counsel for Arpaio might have been involved in the non-production of the IDs and now Judge Snow has today granted plaintiff’s motion to compel testimony regarding discussion about production of the IDs Counsel had with MCSO on July 17, 2015. In particular the finger is pointed at attorney Michele Iafrate. The motion was filed September 10, and is document 1319 in Case 2:07-cv-02513.

Plaintiffs also filed a second notice of the deposition of David Tennyson that was to be held today (Sept. 28). Sgt. Tennyson was accused of conducting an inadequate interrogation during the internal criminal investigation of illegal activity by the Department’s Human Smuggling Unit. See: “Arpaio’s Chief Deputy Shredded on the Stand” for more on Tennyson.

Melendres depositions from case docket:

  • Timothy J. Casey
  • Gerard Sheridan
  • David Tennyson
  • Suzanne Kimberly Seagraves-Young
  • Don Vogel
  • Steve Bailey
  • Edward Patrick Lopez
  • Bill Knight
  • Travis Anglin
  • Stephen Fax
  • John ("Jack") MacIntyre
  • Jonathan Knapp
  • Joseph M. Arpaio
  • Brett Palmer
  • Mike Olson
  • Joseph Sousa
  • Brian Sands
  • Brian Mackiewicz
  • Michael Zullo
  • Thomas P. Liddy
  • Christine Bailey Stutz
  • Rollie Seebert

Did the ACLU just subpoena the Reed Hayes report?

Reed Hayes is a professional document examiner from Hawaii, and to my knowledge the only person in his profession to conclude that Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate is a fake. Despite the fact that his report has never been published, reliable sources confirm that Hayes has described the Obama certificate as a forgery (despite repeated verifications of its contents by the State of Hawaii). The reason for keeping the 40 page report under wraps is unknown, but we do know that Mike Zullo is the one who owns the report, and the one that has prevented its publication for over two years.

Now, in a seemingly unrelated lawsuit in Arizona, Melendres v. Arpaio, a subpoena from the ACLU to Mike Zullo requests the delivery of documents that this writer believes include the Reed Hayes report. Readers may draw their own conclusion from reading the subpoena themselves.

The key section of the subpoena that I believe covers the Reed Hayes report appears on page 14, and reads:

Copies, to be provided in native format with metadata, of all emails, text messages, or other written communications, including any attachments and metadata, and including communications and DOCUMENTS sent to or from personal email accounts such as,,, and emails and text messages sent using personal smartphones, tablets or other communications devices or MCSO-provided devices, sent to or from YOU, Sheriff Arpaio, Chief Deputy Sheridan, Brian Mackiewicz, Dennis Montgomery a/k/a David Webb, Retired Executive Chief Brian Sands, any employee of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, or any member of the Cold Case Posse, from December 23, 2011 through the present, that mention or relate to:

(c) any investigation conducted by Sheriff Arpaio or MCSO or agents of Sheriff Arpaio or MCSO, or on Sheriff Arpaio’s or MCSO’s behalf, of Judge Snow or of any judge or elected official, and/or their family members and/or their associates.

It would seem to me that the Reed Hayes report was certainly part of a written communication; it was to Mike Zullo; and it involved the investigation of an elected official (i.e., Barack Obama) on behalf of Sheriff Arpaio. Indeed, Zullo’s entire investigation of Obama’s birth certificate would seem to be within the scope of this subpoena!

Some might challenge the relevance of the subpoena of Obama investigation records to the Melendres affair; however, it goes to a pattern of behavior. As one said to me, it goes to a pattern of behavior of speculative investigations, accepting woefully  inadequate information in an investigation, devoting MCSO resources to speculative nonsense instead of compliance with court orders. and investigating enemies.

Of course those on the opposite side of the birther isle want to see the Reed Hayes report in order to confirm or debunk it. It’s a matter of interest how Reed Hayes came to his conclusion and what methodology he employed. Based on hints from Mike Zullo, it appears that at least part of the report is an endorsement of material previous published by Mike Zullo on the PDF, rather than a handwriting analysis. The following is from Mike Zullo’s affidavit (quoting the Hayes report) presented in the McInnish v. Chapman appeal in Alabama:

“…based on my observations and findings, it is clear that Certificate of  Live Birth I examined is not a scan of an original paper birth certificate,but a digitally manufactured documented created by utilizing material from various sources.”

If indeed Hayes just buys into prior Zullo material, then it has already been debunked.


For many months I checked the Reed Hayes web site to see if there was anything on Barack Obama’s birth certificate (after a report that Hayes intended to write something on it). I finally gave up. The April 11, 2015, archive of does not contain the page, but it is there now. So here is what Hayes says about his investigation into Obama’s birth certificate. (I asked to save this page today.)

Here are some items of interest:

  • Zullo approached Hayes in November, 2012
  • Hayes’ examination is based solely on the PDF, not the press photos of the document
  • Hayes denies ever saying he was 100% certain of anything
  • Hayes has never been an expert witness for the Perkins Coe law firm, although he did work for one of their attorneys in the 90’s.
  • Hayes is not a registered Democrat.

What little can be gleaned from the Hayes web page suggests that he based his conclusions on the electronic artifacts in the PDF file, many if not all of which have been reproduced scanning real documents with a Xerox machine.

Update 2:

The ACLU subpoena has been modified not to include the period between December 23, 2011 and August 31, 2013. This would seem to exclude the Hayes report.


Arpaio contempt hearing resumes Thursday

Contempt hearings resume Thursday against birther Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Chief Deputy Sheridan in the case of Melendres v. Arpaio. Four of Arpaio’s current and former attorneys have come under scrutiny. Attorney Tom Liddy will be deposed today (Sept. 21) and the deposition of Tim Casey will continue tomorrow. The court has also ruled that some communications between the attorneys and defendants at a January 2, 2014, meeting are privileged.

Mike Zullo is scheduled to be deposed October 7. has a nice article.

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Jeb Bush: “Obama is American”

Campaigning in Michigan, Jeb Bush soundly repudiates birtherism, reports, the web site of the MLive Media Group that operates a string of Michigan newspapers, in their article, “Jeb Bush goes full non-birther in Michigan while Donald Trump faces backlash.”

Barack Obama is a talented man — and by the way, he’s American, he’s Christian.

Bush was speaking at the the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference.

Obama’s birthplace turned out not to be a critical issue in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns, where President Obama won despite birther opposition. Who would have though it would be an issue now in 2016 when Barack Obama is not even running? Yet the possibility exists that it may be the Achilles heel for Trump.

Jeb Bush is polling in third place in Michigan, behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson.


Donald Trump: Walking the birther tightrope

The way I would prefer to view the world has birthers as a basically insignificant group. I justify that view by their total failure to defeat President Obama at the polls, failure to win any of their eligibility lawsuits, failure to gather much of a crowd and failure to get anyone in Congress to investigate their allegations. I like to think that birthers don’t matter, they are just a niche web phenomenon and there is no “there” there.

Standing in the way of that comforting view stands Donald Trump and polls that say that there are lots of  birthers in the country. It also pains me to hear anyone respectable use the word “birther.” I’m not a news junkie, but when I do listen to news, it is most often to National Public Radio, and this week they uttered the “B” word. It came following a Trump town hall meeting last Thursday. This is an excerpt from the NPR report:

When an audience member at a Donald Trump event asserted that President Obama is a Muslim not born in the United States, Trump did not challenge it. And now a backlash after that exchange has put Trump on the defensive. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports this was just one part of a tough week for the presidential candidate.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: At his town hall in New Hampshire last night, Trump made an opening statement then went right to the audience for Q and A.


PRES CAND DONALD TRUMP: All right, let’s start with this group right over here. Come on. OK, this man. I like this guy.

GONYEA: The sound system breaks up a little bit, but the man stood up and said, quote, “we have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims.”


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one.

TRUMP: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You know he’s not even an American.

TRUMP: We need this question – this is the first question (laughter).

GONYEA: Trump and audience members laughed. The man went on.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question. When can we get rid of them?

TRUMP: We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things. And, you know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there. We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.

GONYEA: Now, recall that during the 2008 presidential campaign GOP nominee John McCain confronted and corrected a woman who made a similar statement about Obama.

Transcript Copyright 2015 by National Public Radio

Following that story came the “Week in Politics” segment with Robert Siegel, E. J. Dionne and David Brooks. Republican Brooks said of Trump:

He talks incessantly about how high his poll numbers are. And so it’s not at what am I standing for, it’s how well am I doing? And if you’re running an unprincipled campaign then you’re probably not going to take the principled stand of correcting one of your own supporters, and you’re going to run into troubles like this one.

Then Dionne uttered the fatal “B” word:

And this episode was a reminder that Trump really burst on the right-wing scene and began to develop this following he has precisely by being a birther, precisely by buying into statements like that. And he was clearly reluctant to turn his back on a very significant part of his constituency.

I’m not sure what to think about birther polling numbers, any more than Donald Trump numbers, but one thing is clear: birthers have an affinity for Donald Trump, supporting him far more than they do other candidates (see my article “More Republicans think Ted Cruz was born in the US than Barack Obama”). I am wondering if it is the birther vote that is sustaining Donald Trump, and why he refuses to put this issue behind him, even while saying he’s past this issue. On this and pretty much all other issues, Trump doesn’t have a substantive position. And of course for birthers other Republican candidates, and especially Ted Cruz, aren’t eligible anyway. I think his remark about Ted Cruz (see my article “The Donald says Ted Cruz eligible: Birthers wail”) being eligible just shows him shooting from the hip, oblivious to what his supporters actually think. If we are to believe the PPP, 61% of Trump’s supporters are birthers. To repudiate them would be to sink his campaign.

While I say that birthers have accomplished nothing, having what they think as one of their own as the front-runner for the Republican nomination for President is no small accomplishment for the movement. Who knows what Trump actually thinks?

Republican Senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham says that a birther cannot be elected President, and there is the rub for Donald Trump. If Graham and I are right, Trump cannot get the nomination without the birthers, and he cannot get elected with them.

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