“NO BASIS IN FACT OR LAW”
by Sharon Rondeau
Following a series of interviews conducted by various media with Obama birth certificate investigator Mike Zullo over the last two months, questions arose as to whether or not the long-form image had ever been submitted as “proof” of Obama’s eligibility in a court of law and by extension, whether or not members of the legal profession had ever vouched for its authenticity.
While lawsuits to Obama’s eligibility were filed in courts across the country beginning in August 2008 with Berg v. Obama, ballot challenges, many of which arose in 2012, were heard by state or local Boards of Election.
The long-form image, posted on the White House website on April 27, 2011, was said to be a scan of a certified copy of Obama’s original birth certificate showing that he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. However, prior to Obama’s first presidential campaign, a number of mainstream media reports had stated that he was born in Kenya or Indonesia, raising the question of his presidential eligibility after he announced his candidacy on February 10, 2007.
On December 24, 2017, in response to Zullo’s statement to Carl Gallups on the December 22 edition of his “Freedom Friday” radio show that the long-form birth certificate image “was never presented as evidence in a court of law in response to numerous eligibility challenges” (paraphrased from the interview by The Post & Email), Jackson told us:
It is true technically, that aka Obama’s “long form” was never presented in a court of law, but it was entered into the record with the Illinois 2012 primary, as “Exhibit A”, for then candidate, Obama.
Jackson included with his email two attachments: the Illinois State Board of Elections (ILSBOE) rulings dated January 27, 2012 and February 2, 2012, respectively, in regard to Jackson’s primary-election ballot challenge.
Filed on January 13, 2012 during the presidential primary season, Jackson’s ballot objection contended that because Obama’s claimed father was never a U.S. citizen, the candidate could not qualify under Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requiring that the president be a “natural born Citizen.”
Directed to Illinois State Board of Elections (ILSBOE) Chairman William McGuffage, Jackson’s challenge, plus two others to Obama’s candidacy, received a “case management” conference on January 24, 2012, a formal hearing on January 27, 2012, and the announcement of the Board’s decision on February 2, 2012 to include Obama’s name on the state’s primary ballot.
The January 27 ruling in the case, #12 SOEB GP 104, consists of four pages, the last of which is the long-form birth certificate image apparently copied onto a standard-size piece of white paper and marked “Cand. Ex. A.”
Page 1 of the February 2 ruling references a “Motion to Strike and Dismiss the Objector’s Petition” as filed by the candidate’s counsel along with the statement that “A copy of the Candidate’s birth certificate was attached to the Motion.” Page 2 of the ruling indicates that the ILSBOE accepted the long-form image as having “established the Candidate’s eligibility for the office of President of the United States as a ‘Natural Born Citizen’ as is required by Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.”
In addition to the “ruling” that Obama was constitutionally eligible, Jackson was also said to have failed to state his “interest” when filing the objection.
On December 24, 2017 Jackson told The Post & Email:
You would think because the Illinois Board of Elections and the Hearing Examiner used that “authentic” Birth Certificate as proof to Obama being constitutionally eligible, we should easily be able to find that record with an internet search.
You will find nothing!
As of the time of the lodging of Jackson’s primary-ballot objection, several industry experts had already declared the long-form image to be fraudulent, but Zullo’s 5+-year criminal investigation, launched in August 2011, had not yet announced its initial finding that probable cause existed to believe that the image is a “computer-generated forgery.”
That declaration was made on March 1, 2012 at what would be the first of three formal press conferences held over the duration of the investigation, which ended in December 2016 with the news that two well-known forensic analysts agreed with Zullo’s conclusion that the birth certificate image cannot possibly be genuine.
On Sunday evening, The Post & Email submitted a request to the ILSBOE through its designated FOIA officer, Heather Kimmons, requesting “*All documents pertaining to case # 12 SOEB GP 104, which was a ballot objection heard on January 24, 2012 and January 27, 2012, with a final determination produced on February 2, 2012.”
Our request continued:
*I would specifically like to obtain a copy of the Candidate’s “Motion to Strike and Dismiss the Objector’s Petition,” including all attachments which might have accompanied it.
On Tuesday, we received the following from Kimmons:
Responsive records are attached. This will complete your FOIA to the State Board of Elections
The email contained a 30-page attachment: Obama Objection
The majority of the responsive documentation consisted of Jackson’s filing on September 13, 2012 of a general-election challenge to Obama’s placement on the Illinois ballot and contained press releases from then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, under whose authority Zullo conducted his probe, and documents released by the U.S. State Department showing that Barack Hussein Obama of Kenya was present in the U.S. on a student visa and returned to his home nation in 1964.
On page 25 of Kimmons’s release, Hearing Examiner James Tenuto wrote that “The birth certificate attached as Exhibit A clearly establishes the Candidate’s eligibility for office as a ‘Natural Born Citizen’ [sic] with a recommendation that the “Motion to Strike and Dismiss the Objector’s Petition” submitted by the candidate’s counsel “be granted.”
The actual “Motion to Strike and Dismiss the Objector’s Petition” was not included in the document release, although a copy of the long-form birth certificate in which it was reportedly included appears on page 27.
On page 28, Kreloff and Kasper are erroneously noted to be Jackson’s attorneys, with the “Candidate” noted as proceeding “pro se.”
On Tuesday, The Post & Email wrote back to Kimmons:
Thank you very much, Ms. Kimmons.
Regarding the referenced “Motion to Strike and Dismiss the Objector’s Petition” by the candidate’s attorneys, is that document not part of the case record?
Kimmons responded on Wednesday:
It would have been part of the record, but it was not found in the initial search. We will continue to look for it and will forward to you if it is located.
Later that day, Kimmons sent us the following email:
We were able to locate it by searching through old agenda packet documents posted online at our website. See attached.
The email contained the following attachment:
However, it still did not contain the “Motion to Strike and Dismiss the Objector’s Petition.”
Although Jackson had sent us considerable documentation prior to our FOIA requests directed to Kimmons, we contacted him to see if by chance he possessed the “Motion to Strike.”
Later on Wednesday, Jackson attached a 30-page document containing not only the missing Motion to Strike, but also a December 2011 “Index of Electoral Board Decisions” originating in Chicago and the case of Ankeny v. Daniels which Kreloff and Kasper used as the basis for their argument that Obama met the definition of “natural born Citizen.”
The first page of the document correctly states that Kreloff represented Obama. Page 2 begins the “Motion to Strike.”
On page 3, Kreloff argued:
Jackson’s and the two other challenges to Obama’s placement on the Illinois primary ballot were overruled. On December 27, 2017, Jackson reminded The Post & Email that at the January 27, 2012 hearing, he was not allowed to speak.
On September 13, 2012, Jackson filed a challenge to Obama’s placement on the general-election ballot. His documentation contained two press releases and a sworn affidavit from Arpaio detailing the findings of forgery and fraud in the long-form birth certificate image and Obama’s purported Selective Service registration form as discovered by Zullo. Those documents were also included in Kimmons’s first release to us.
A hearing on the latter objection was held on September 17, 2012 with a ruling that Obama’s name would be placed on the Illinois general-election ballot.
On December 27, 2017, Jackson sent us transcripts from the February 2, 2012 and September 17, 2012 hearings.
On page 2 of the above document, “Member Rice” is quoted as having acknowledged to the chairman that “There’s a typo in our reports,” referring to the erroneous statement that Kreloff and Kasper represented Jackson. On page 3, Kasper is noted to have said, “I’m going to keep the one with the typo on it for posterity,” a fact Jackson recalled in his recent email exchange with us.
Page 5 of the February 2, 2012 transcript depicts McGuffage calling Jackson’s challenge “a birther objection.” Further, he stated, “We’re getting sick and tired of having these objections filed every couple of years, and they have no basis in fact or law. If such an objection was brought before a court of law, there would be sanctions imposed…If somebody on the Board disagrees with that position and wants to listen to Mr. Jackson, please indicate so; otherwise, we’re moving to the next case.”
On September 17, 2012, the ILSBOE held a hearing on three general-election ballot challenges naming Obama: one from Jackson, one from Benjamin Freeman, and a third from Amanda Martin. Jackson’s objection can be read in its entirety here.
Page 4 of the hearing transcript provided by Jackson acknowledges that the challenges were based upon the “natural born citizenship of our current president citing the constitutional requirement that the sitting president or a candidate for president indeed be a natural born citizen.”
The matter was addressed beginning on page 5 with:
As he had on January 27, Jackson asked to speak and was denied the opportunity (page 7). “The case has been dismissed. That’s it,” McGuffage was noted to have told Jackson.
Of that hearing, Jackson told us on December 27, 2017:
There would be witnesses to this, that when I noticed the BOE had shut us up, shut us down, and shut us out, I abruptly stood up to ask what in the world just happened?
So I think perhaps in part because I stood up abruptly the court reporter couldn’t sign off on it because she didn’t get down what I had said. The other thought is it was left out on purpose.
I specifically stated Article II Section I Clause V and Natural Born Citizen was required to be POTUS. That is not in the transcript.
There are witnesses to that what I spoke.
Also, I did request from the BOE any audio or video for the proceedings, and was told they were not available.
I find that difficult to believe, because during the February primary challenge when I was in Springfield, the BOE was gathered in Chicago.
The proceedings were done via video feed. So, why would there not be available for the public this record??
In a number of interviews Zullo has conducted since early December, he has mentioned the law firm of Perkins Coie. On September 5, 2012, using Perkins Coie letterhead, Democratic National Committee General Counsel Robert F. Bauer wrote a letter to the director of the Illinois Division of Election Information, enclosing the “official Certificate of Nomination of President Barack Obama as the nominee of the Democratic Party of the United States for President of the United States and of Vice President Joe Biden’s nominee for Vice President of the United States.”
On the morning of April 27, 2011, Bauer, then Obama’s White House counsel, told reporters in an off-the-record meeting prior to the release of the long-form birth certificate image that “only copies” of the purported original document from the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) would be made available to them, a mandate Zullo said was questioned by at least one journalist in the room.
On or about June 5, 2011, Bauer resigned as White House Counsel and returned to Perkins Coie, where he is a partner specializing in “political law.”