April 20th, 2010
08:04 AM ET
5 years ago

Trial begins in Palin e-mail hacking case

July selection will begin Tuesday in the trial of the man accused of hacking into then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s person e-mail account during the 2008 presidential campaign.
July selection will begin Tuesday in the trial of the man accused of hacking into then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s person e-mail account during the 2008 presidential campaign.

(CNN) – Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the trial of a Democratic state legislator's son who is accused of hacking into a personal e-mail account belonging to then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign.

David Kernell, 22, son of Memphis Democrat Mike Kernell, faces felony charges of identity theft, wire fraud, intentionally accessing Palin's e-mail account without authorization and obstructing an FBI investigation.

He has pleaded not guilty.

At the time, Palin was the running mate of Arizona Sen. John McCain in his Republican presidential bid.

Their campaign called the incident "a shocking invasion of the governor's privacy and a violation of law."

Authorities said Kernell allegedly accessed Palin's e-mail by resetting the password.

He then allegedly read the contents and made screenshots of the e-mail directory and other personal information, according to a federal indictment.

"The personal information included, and was not limited to, other e-mail addresses of family members, pictures of family members, at least one cell phone number of a family member, the dates of birth of Governor Palin and another family member, and Governor Palin's address book," the indictment said.

The screenshots were posted to a public website, and Kernell is alleged to have also posted the newly created password on that site, allowing others to access Palin's e-mail account, it said.

Kernell's father has served in the Tennessee House for more than 30 years.


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. T'SAH from Virginia

    It takes a HACK to know a HACK!!!

    April 20, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  2. Ferret out the BS

    Apparently he didn't get anything worthwhile or we've had heard about it.

    April 20, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  3. Irma in North Carolina

    Well is this another means of Sarah to make some more money? I wonder if she will tell the truth? She will probably ask for a big settlement out of this deal.

    April 20, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  4. Steve, New York City

    Sarah Palin might be an attention-hogging half-wit, but even she deserves her privacy (shame on the email hacker)!

    April 20, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  5. Tom in Illinois

    Time to put the guy in jail.

    April 20, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  6. Bubba

    Guessing that her password was "moose" wasn't very hard.

    April 20, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  7. badger

    Here's a case where two wrongs won't make a right. It was against the law to hack into an illegal e-mail sight of the govenors. Ironic isn't it.

    April 20, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  8. Robert Warner

    As a lifelong Democrat, I hope that this offense is duly punished if guilt is proven.

    April 20, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  9. Jerry - Florida

    Please don't throw the book at this idiot; throw the whole dictionary. Hopefully it will set an example for other idiots!

    April 20, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  10. Liberal4Obama

    Memo to Sarah Palin: Next time don't write the password in your forehead or your hand, any part of your body to be exact.

    April 20, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. Laverne

    Sarah Palin is the one who should be on trial for all her crooked dealings!

    April 20, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  12. Jeff in Virginia

    Meanwhile, there has been no trial or real investigation of Palin's use of personal email accounts for state business.

    Makes me sick to my stomach.

    April 20, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  13. will h.

    Not Guilty

    Palin used stupidly easy security questions on her e-mail account. It's not hacking if you leave the door unlocked.

    April 20, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  14. Seattle Sue

    I wonder if he will receive the same punishment as the man who was posing as a pimp for acorn, as he was caught trying to wire tap a Senator's office in Louisiana.

    April 20, 2010 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oooooh, you had me going there CNN with the words "Pailin" and 'trial" in the same sentence! I was racing to the comment section so as not to get blocked out, singing praises and "holler-to-yas"!!!!

    Oh well....

    April 20, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  16. Ben in Texas

    Palin's shock would be a little more believable if she had also been shocked at the Bush administration's illegal wiretapping of U.S. citizens, as well as other illegal spying and invasion of privacy. To my knowledge, she's never criticized the criminal Bush regime for anything.

    April 20, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. TangledThorns

    Hooray for the Leftists breaking the law just to tear down Sarah Palin. The Left shames themselves again!

    April 20, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |