Did the FBI spy on Sheriff Joe Arpaio just like they spied on Trump? In this interview, published in the most recent American Free Press the 57-year veteran lawman has choice words for mainstream media, leftists, and the FBI. If you’re an AFP Online subscriber, log in here to read the PDF of Issue 21&22. Not yet a subscriber? Consider a $25/year digital subscription now, or one of the other options here.
On May 8, American Free Press writer Dave Gahary had the opportunity to catch up with former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to discuss, among other things, his run for Maricopa County sheriff, his support for President Donald Trump, the smear campaign that targeted him, and his belief that the FBI spied on him as he campaigned around the Copper State. Here is Sheriff Joe in his own words.
AFP: It’s great to talk to you, Sheriff. Let’s start at the beginning. Can you tell us about yourself, for those who don’t know you already?
Sheriff Joe: I was born on Flag Day, June 14, same day as President Trump. Not the same year, 1932, so you can figure out that I’m a senior citizen [chuckles]. I was born in Springfield, Mass. My mother gave her life for me. She refused an abortion and died in childbirth. So I bounced around from one Italian family to another. My mother and father came from Italy, legally, and I worked in the grocery store. I played all the sports in high school. I joined the U.S. Army when the Korean War broke out and I turned 18 and I graduated from high school, all within one month. I did my three years and came home. I always wanted to be a cop. I went to Vegas for a short time as a police officer. I actually locked up Elvis Presley, since I took him to the police station. But I did let him go.
Then I started my other big career—it was the DEA: federal Drug Enforcement Administration. In 1957, I was sworn in, in Chicago, and was involved in a lot of investigations and a lot of arrests. So they sent me to Turkey, the only agent in that area to stop the French Connection and all the drugs that were being run out of there.
I then went to San Antonio. I held a lot of top positions, especially [related to work in and around] Mexico, South America, Central America, Turkey, the Middle East, and also Texas and Arizona, fighting the drug problem.
So when you add up my 57 years in law enforcement, you’d have to say I have 35 years as a high official or a top official with the DEA in Mexico, on that side of the border, where I lived, and also on this side. I retired in 1982 as head of the DEA in Arizona, joined my wife in the travel business, and then I decided to run for sheriff in 1992. And I guess the rest is history.
AFP: Can you talk a bit about your time as a sheriff in Arizona?
Sheriff Joe: For 24 years I was a sheriff, which is the longest-serving sheriff in the history of Maricopa County, which I’m pretty proud of because I’ve been able to survive 24 years. Sometimes I wonder how I did it. I was re-elected six times. I lost the election in 2016. I just could not win the battles for the contempt of court charges, where the courts went after me. President Donald Trump pardoned me on that charge, which nobody even really knew what it was about. Now I find out it’s not even a crime.
I didn’t survive the smear campaign, because you may recall that [President Barack] Obama’s prosecutors in the contempt of court trial said they were going to get me for contempt of court and [they] wanted me to do six months in prison. They were saying that when the people were voting. Then I had [George] Soros come after me with that law firm Perkins Coie. [Soros] pumped $3 million into the general election, and I’m still wondering—a lot of people are wondering—how I lost to a liberal police sergeant. [Now we know.]
AFP: What can you tell us about your time with the president?
Sheriff Joe: I was with President Trump from day one, when I introduced him in July at his first rally, here in Phoenix. I was the only one who would stand next to him. I introduced him and made a few predictions. I said he would be our next president, and I was right. So, I have a lot of respect for our president. I do know that NBC asked me last year if John McCain was my hero. I paused and I said, “No.” I woke up one morning, about four months prior to my declaration, and I said, “I finally found a hero,” after all my  years in life, everywhere in the world, and that was President Trump. I’m proud of that.
I don’t back down. I’m not a flip-flopper that will say I am now President Trump’s ally because he was doing good in the polls. I’ve been with him from day one, and I’ll be with him till the end. I don’t care if people like it or not.
I’m 86 years old. I work 14 hours a day. What’s really tough . . . [is that] nobody knows my background. I could never, never get it out. They only know me as the sheriff, but I have a lot of interesting experiences fighting drug trafficking around the world. They called me a racist. I’m suing The New York Times about [that] situation. But I am also suing CNN, The Huffington Post and Rolling Stone, for calling me a convicted criminal. So they’re gonna have a little problem with me. Those are the same people going after President Trump.
AFP: What can you tell us about your work on Barack Obama’s purported birth certificate?
Sheriff Joe: I went after Obama on his birth certificate, and, being in law enforcement all those years, I’m not stupid [about the law]. I agreed to launch that investigation because the tea party came to me in 2011 and said, “You’re an elected sheriff. You’re the only one who will touch it.” And they won’t touch it. Nobody in the universe will even look at my investigation. I’m a law-enforcement guy, and I [discover] probable cause on a fake government document, and all they do is blast me and say that I’m crazy. So that makes me a little frustrated. But I’m not giving up on that. Maybe somebody will look at what we have. I’m convinced, 100% [that the birth certificate in a compiled phony], and I have the evidence of forensic people that I had to go to Italy to find, plus all the rest from our investigation.
Someone has to answer the question: Why doesn’t any law enforcement agency—it really should be federal—look into what we have on a person who has a fake government document that happens to be a birth certificate? So that’s a question that I will never forget. I’ll go to my grave and always wonder why nobody will look at the evidence we have.
When I launched this, I went public and I said I don’t care where Obama was born. I don’t care about anything regarding that. I’m going after a person who has a fake birth certificate. That’s it. And if it was you, you’d be in jail tomorrow. Is that fair?
I just talked to three Republican groups around the country. They all loved the fight against the birth certificate, but politically you’re not supposed to talk about it. Why not? Is Obama someone special?
Just before I left office, we got a lucky hit, and we found a birth certificate [that was issued at the] same time as Obama was born. And it was very simple: They took parts of that birth certificate and transplanted it on this phony one. My Italian forensics experts showed that.
The irony of all this, if I’m still living in 10 years from now—which I probably won’t be—is the fact that I’m the guy with the reputation of being the top guy fighting illegal immigration. We arrested more illegals than anybody. Now, the irony would be if [former President Obama] was here illegally—that’s an immigration issue. I never talked about him being here illegally or from somewhere else. I said I’m investigating a fake Hawaiian government official document. And I can’t get anywhere with this. If it wasn’t him, I’m sure somebody would come to me and investigate it.
AFP: Can you talk about how the media has portrayed you in the past few years?
Sheriff Joe: They call me a racist—everybody in the media, every day. [But] even the judge who went after me never said that I racially profiled. He said that I used race as a [criterion]. When I signed the contract with the ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] director, that was one of their criteria, that you could use race. So they got me on that, on the contempt of court, that I didn’t obey the judge.
That’s one reason I don’t get on TV. You notice that Fox, in a whole year, has blocked me out? I’ve been on Fox for 24 years. Why don’t they call me anymore? They put all these other guys on to talk about the border. I have more experience than all of them put together, on fighting drug trafficking and illegal immigration. I think they’re afraid that I might talk about the birth certificate.
I don’t care. I’ve got my Facebook with a million followers. I go through social media. I go through people like [AFP], your paper that has the guts to speak out. So, I have all the means to get my story across.
AFP: Recently you said the FBI was spying on you. Can you talk about that?
Sheriff Joe: Actually, I had this information last year and nobody printed it, and now I see what’s happening here in Washington. This happened [to me] years ago. You talk about the FBI today, infiltrating the president and his campaign, and I’m saying, “Wait a minute. I remember when that happened to me.”
I have information that two or three FBI agents found out that I was going to be mentioned in a candidate’s forum at a police union hall. So two FBI agents go in there posing as journalists, of course, to get information about me. That’s a no-no. First of all, you shouldn’t be posing as reporters, and you should not be going into these forums to gather information on someone who’s involved in politics.
Now, let me say this: American Free Press is the only one to call me about this, and I sent this information to 300 news outlets. In fact, I sent something like this out last year. So why is this is not a story?
I sent a 26-page report to the former attorney general of the United States, asking for an investigation over this contempt of court and everything revolving around it. I heard back from them finally when [former Attorney General Jeff] Sessions left. They had sent it to their Office of Inspector General or somebody. Being an ex-federal guy, I’m a little disappointed that this type of situation is occurring. I do have a lot more sensitive information I’m not ready to talk about, and I think that may scare some people. But I don’t care. I’ve had a lot of threats from [drug] cartels and that doesn’t bother me. I’ve been around a long time. I don’t go around making allegations unless I can back them up. I have the evidence that it happened.
AFP: Can you explain the contempt of court issue?
Sheriff Joe: Here I am, in my waning years, sitting at a criminal defense table . . . for six days, with a stacked deck, on a contempt of court charge, where the judge—they wouldn’t even give me a jury trial—charged me with the wrong charge, over a contempt charge, because I was doing my job. I had the authority to do it under the feds, because I had 100 of my deputies sworn in, trained for six months as immigration officers. They went after me because I was very active. When I do something in my life, maybe I do it one step more than normal, but it’s not illegal.
AFP: Can you elaborate on the presidential pardon you received?
Sheriff Joe: You know, another thing about the border—I’m not criticizing the president on his selections. I feel sorry for him, and I think he’ll admit it, too: There’s a lot of garbage out there. A lot of people say they like him. They like him because they’re making money. But where is their heart? There’s a difference, being a bureaucrat.
Another difference is, does it come from your heart? My support of him comes from my heart. It has nothing to do with a big position. I don’t do anything to get a job. Now, if he ever calls me, I would probably have to help him out, because I love the guy, and if he needs me, I’ll have to do it.
He pardoned me before I even went to court to be sentenced. But you know what? He did the right thing. I didn’t ask for it, but he did the right thing. It had nothing to do with politics.
AFP: Would you like to see President Trump elected again?
Sheriff Joe: If we don’t get the current president reelected, we’re gonna be in deep trouble. We’re in a little trouble now, but just think if the Democrats come back in, with all their stupid policies. You wouldn’t mind if you got a really good guy, a patriot, that type of person, to run on the Democratic side, but we don’t have that. We don’t have that now, and if they win the election, this country is going to be in poor shape.
By the way, I love [how the president uses] Twitter. I hope he tweets forever and gets the word out his way. He’s not afraid to speak out. He’s maybe different, but, boy, he’s the one we need today. When he gets reelected, I guarantee you he’ll be a little different. He’ll be tougher, when he’s reelected. So we only have another, what, five-and-a-half years to straighten this country out.
AFP: You read the newspaper, American Free Press, right?
Sheriff Joe: Yeah, I love your paper.
AFP: And of course, like you, all the things they call us—racist, anti-Semitic—it’s just how the left (and groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center) smears patriotic conservatives these days who have the courage to speak the truth about important topics. Thanks for having the courage to speak with us, Sheriff. We hope we’ve helped you get the word out.
Sheriff Joe: Thank you.
This partial interview transcript was edited to fit into the print paper space allowed. Click the podcast image above to hear the full, unedited version of Dave Gahary’s interview with Sheriff Arpaio.
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See the website erasingtheliberty.com for more information.