It should be considerably cooler when Mike Zullo reports for his resumed deposition today in the Melendres v. Arpaio contempt trial of Joe Arpaio et al. As much as I would like to know what will happen, considerable uncertainty prevails. Things we don’t know include:
- Will Mike Zullo show up?
- Will some last-minute legal maneuver scuttle the deposition, at least for today?
- Will he be represented by an attorney?
- Will he refuse to answer any, some, many, most or all questions? Update: Zullo invoked the 5th Amendment on most questions, according to Stephen Lemons at the PNT.
- Will his answers support or undermine Sheriff Arpaio’s testimony that he did not initiate or encourage the investigation of Judge Snow?
- Will there be any questions related to the Cold Case Posse’s birth certificate investigation?
- Will anybody’s universe shatter as a result of today’s deposition?
Certainly Mr. Zullo will be asked about the 3,649 pages of documents he produced in response to a Plaintiff’s subpoena, and perhaps about the 78 additional documents released to Plaintiffs over Zullo’s objection (I presume this has happened by now pursuant to Judge Snows’ order) .
Mike Zullo was described by Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times as Sheriff Arpaio’s G. Gordon Liddy. Zullo was Arpaio’s go-to man when it came to the sensitive topic of investigating Obama’s birth certificate, and later, for reasons that may be revealed today, accompanying uniformed officers of the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office to Seattle to work with confidential informant Dennis Montgomery.
We know from briefs filed by Zullo himself in the Melendres case that he, in contrast to all of the others who have testified so far, still believes the conspiracy theories spun by Dennis Montgomery, theories that Arpaio called junk, and his hired NSA consultants called a “total fraud.” Zullo sees a vast conspiracy of government agency that, along with the ACLU, is out to destroy Joe Arpaio.
I doubt the plaintiffs in Melendres are particularly interested in the birth certificate investigation, but I’m confident that they will want to understand fully what Zullo was doing in Seattle, why a posse volunteer was there in an official criminal investigation. They will want to know what the man who talks to Joe Arpaio almost every day, was saying to the man who doesn’t leave an email trail. The fact that the County paid Zullo’s expenses, and Zullo was “activated” by the Sheriff for the operation, gives the Sheriffs Office a clear responsibility for what Zullo was doing, but what could Zullo do that couldn’t be done better by regular law enforcement?
We know from already-disclosed Zullo emails that the Cold Case Posse was paying Montgomery for something (Zullo said “software”) related to the birth certificate. Was the County, once again, subsidizing that effort by paying Zullo’s expenses, as it did previously when a deputy accompanied Zullo to Hawaii?
Mike Zullo may testify in court as early as Tuesday afternoon.