September 2nd, 2010
06:02 PM ET
4 years ago

Anchor Notes: John King and Sheriff Joe Arpaio

 Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio spoke with CNN’s Chief National Correspondent John King on Thursday.
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio spoke with CNN’s Chief National Correspondent John King on Thursday.

Washington (CNN) – A defiant Sheriff Joe Arpaio accused the Obama Justice Department of trying to "sandbag" him by filing suit against his office Thursday. On another issue rippling through Arizona politics, the lawman said he has never heard of a beheading in Arizona tied to illegal immigration.

The Justice Department said it had no choice but to file suit because it said Arpaio's office was refusing to surrender requested documents and grant its investigators access to Maricopa County Sheriff's Office personnel.

"Just recently our lawyers, in Washington, have met with them," Arpaio said in an interview with me for "John King, USA" to air Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. "They have thousands and thousands of our documents. And we thought we had this thing resolved but now they sandbag us and they sue me. Why are they doing that when we are cooperating? It took them a year-and-a-half and why now?

“You know, this is the third lawsuit they've filed against the state of Arizona, now a - a school district and now me. Three times all over alleged discrimination. So it seems like they're ganging up on Arizona - the people of Arizona over this illegal immigration problem. ...They have to describe what they want. They want the whole world. Limit what they want. What did they ask us what they want?"

Arpaio cast himself as "the puppet" in a political battle with Washington and added: "We'll see them in court."

During the interview, I also asked Arpaio about an issue that became a flashpoint in an Arizona gubernatorial debate Wednesday night. Democrat Terry Goddard pressed GOP Gov. Jan Brewer to recant a statement she made earlier this year suggesting Arizona law enforcement officials had found examples of beheadings that Brewer linked to the illegal immigration problem. Media reports in the state have found no evidence of beheadings reported to or by law enforcement agencies.

Brewer did not recant during the debate and ignored reporters' questions about the issue after.

Here is the exchange with Sheriff Arpaio on the issue:

KING: "Have you ever, in your case, either in your county or talking to your law enforcement colleagues in other parts of the state, heard of beheadings?
ARPAIO: "Well, I - I'm not going to speak for her. That's her comments. I'm not running for governor. I did spend 14 years in Mexico and the border. But I don't know, maybe she was talking across the border. You know, Mexico, the United States and Canada are North America. I don't know what she was talking about. But I'm not going to talk - I'm not running for governor. You're going to have to ask her what she meant by that, not me.
KING: "All right, let me just set her aside then. Have you - have you ever come across evidence or a report from your county or a neighboring county of a beheading in Arizona?"
ARPAIO: "Well, I haven't. That doesn't mean other people have. But I sure - I'll tell you one thing, there's plenty of beheadings going on right across the border."

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • issues • Joe Arpaio
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Get A Grip

    Sure would nice to have a president that cares more for the American people than a president who cares more for illegal aliens that are breaking our laws. How low some will go for votes.

    Hang in the Sheriff Arpaio and thank you for doing the right thing, which is more than I can say for our 'Failure in Chief' who once again is wasting the hard working taxpayers dollar.

    September 2, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. ED FL

    It is about time that someone gave the Sheriff and the governor something legitimate to do. These two jerks think that laws apply only to others and not themselves .hopefully they find something on Sherriff Joe will have to parade around in his pretty pink outfits that his prisoners have to wear. One thing certain is that if he does he will be better looking than the Governor.

    September 2, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. filovirus

    The Obamanation HAS to get as many illegals in this country AND give them amnesty if he wants to get re-elected.

    Remember people Obamanation is the guy who said before the election that he wanted to "Fundmentally change America" and "Redistrube the wealth"

    He will do this with every means he can.

    September 2, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  4. NC Ex-Pub

    John, It is a shame Bull Connor, Lester Maddox and George Wallace are dead You could have all your heroes on your show!

    September 2, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. Agnes

    Shameful that our Justice Department is acting like the SS. Sheriff, persevere and keep protecting the people; it is clear that the justice department is acting like a bully shocked and put out by the little kid who stood up for himself.

    September 2, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. Keith in Austin

    When are people going to realize that Obama's left wing Gestapo-like Justice Dept. needs to BACK OFF in Arizona! Disgusting example of too much power in the hands of elitist Democrats that continue to defy the American People!

    September 2, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. Rich

    This schmoo should be in prison.

    September 2, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    This SHERIFF is bi-polar.

    If you just listen to him, you will conclude that he is an arrogant bigot who only goes after Mexicans – that's his entire day!! He gets 'excited' and 'stimulated' when he explains how he 'rounds up the Mexicans and take them to jail."

    He is DANGEROUS!!!

    September 2, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. Clwyd

    Fire the sheriff. Where has equal treatment under the law gone in America? It has gone nuts and conservative!

    September 2, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. Ann

    In Arpio's defense, if he brought forth information regarding his own potential convictions, then this would be an admission of guilt.
    However, he did have 15 months to ask the feds to be more specific in what kinds of documents he was supposed to render.

    September 2, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. Right Leaning Independent

    We all know it is because Obama is upset that you continue rounding up his future voters(hispanics) and sending them home. You are killing the Dems hopes for increasing their voter base so he is harassing you!! This is the type of leader Americans voted in to run our country....

    September 2, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. DOBBS RETURNS

    Maybe the Obama administration will next label Arizona a "rogue state?"
    Maybe stick it right between Iran and North Korea?

    September 2, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. john

    just one question for the good sheriff Arpaio, where was he and what was he doing some 6 years ago when this situation was getting out of hand. And why now the hard push.

    September 2, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  14. southern cousin

    Hang on Sherrif Joe if you can. Atter the November elections, we should be able to start the impeachement hearings and get rid of that corrupt slimy snake that heads of this crooked, illegitimate government. There is nothing Obama and the unions and drug addicts that form his government fear more than an honest man.

    September 2, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  15. Dr Matrix

    The people of Maricopa County continue to re-elect this embarassment to law enforcement. He believes he is God here. He thinks that he is above the law because he is THE LAW. Even though there haven't been any beheading here in AZ, he needs to check in with our governer who is running for office claiming illegal immigrants are all drug mules and beheading innocent white folks here. I can't wait to leave this inbred cesspool of a state for good.

    September 2, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  16. MikeH

    Corrections Corporation of America appears to have paid Ariz. Governor Jan Brewer and/or her advisors to pass a law that incarcerates American citizens who can't prove they are Amercan citizens for profit, for Corrections Corporation of America.

    This is a totally disgusting and traitorous act by the RepubliKlans.

    America, what happened to you? Why are you letting a corrupt facist neo-Nazi state spring up inside your borders?

    September 2, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  17. cobra

    Obumba will do anything to keep the illegals in the US. He should be impeached for not enforcing the laws already on the books but no, he decides to sue Arizona and the sheriff. What a idiot!!

    September 2, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. Leon J. Swartzentruber

    Lets Sue the U.S. Justice department for not enforcing the National Immigration Law. Keep up the good work Sheriff.

    September 2, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  19. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Arpaio is a political opportunist of the first/worst order.

    September 2, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  20. George of the jungle

    WHY? Because you are a loud mouth crook JOe. maybe you should spend some time in one of your tents. You would look good in pink

    September 2, 2010 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  21. Rick

    Obama is trying to court the Latino vote. This Low life President doesnt stand for the American people and the Federal Laws. He thinks he is some kind of King, That he can do what ever he wants. America needs to get rid of this dangerous man now. Not 2 years from now.

    September 2, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
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