April 23rd, 2010
03:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin: E-mail hack was an 'illegal action'

A Tennessee man is accused of hacking into then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s person e-mail account during the 2008 presidential campaign.
A Tennessee man is accused of hacking into then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s person e-mail account during the 2008 presidential campaign.

(CNN) - Sarah Palin, speaking to reporters Friday after testifying against a Tennessee man accused of breaking in to her personal e-mail account, dismissed the defense's argument that the incident was nothing more than "silly prank."

"I don't think an illegal action like this is a prank," Palin said after the courtroom appearance in Knoxville, Tennessee. "Not when you consider how impacting it was on a presidential election. It went beyond a prank."

Palin compared the e-mail hack to an office break-in, with "documents stolen and disclosed to the rest of the world."

Federal prosecutors are presenting their case against University of Tennessee student David Kernell, 22, who is charged with felony identity theft, wire fraud, intentionally accessing Palin's e-mail account in September 2008 without authorization, and obstructing an FBI investigation.

The former Republican vice presidential nominee recalled feeling "uncomfortable" after learning from media reports that her e-mail account was compromised. She was campaigning in Michigan at the time.

"The first screen shot I saw was of a friend who was going through a divorce, and it was a very personal e-mail that she sent me," Palin said. "I felt horrible for her. And throughout this it has been feeling been very bad for the other victims in this. Friends and family who have had to change all their contacts, all their e-mail addresses."

She called the loss of her e-mail account a "big darn deal" because it was her primary means of keeping in touch with her family back in Alaska.

Palin said top officials inside John McCain's presidential campaign immediately became concerned that politically damaging private e-mails would leak. But Palin said she told campaign advisers to "just chill" because there were no "horrible e-mails" that would "end up derailing the McCain campaign."


Filed under: 2008 Election • Sarah Palin
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Turnabout is Fair Play

    You being on the media stage and lying about Obama and his policies every minute is illegal. Your screech, shrill, nails-on-a-chalkboard voice should be illegal in every state except redneck Texas and Alaska. McCain should be charged with a crime for bringing you to the country's attention, a roob from frozen backwoods Alaska where you talk backwards as much as we talk normally in the lower 48. There's a lot that should be illegal where you're concerned brainless mouth with tits.

    April 23, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Lori in St Pete

    What's even more illegal is that you used your private email account for government business. When does YOUR trial for that little indescretion begin?

    April 23, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Someone needs to hack into this idiot's brain and put some anti-virus up there.

    April 23, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    "Not when you consider how impacting it was on a presidential election. It went beyond a prank." So, I guess Sarah's blaming this incident for she and McCain losing the election. Her credibility was shot the first time she was asked a question that she hadn't been give the answer to in advance.

    April 23, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Ray

    Kernell is just another spoiled liberals child who was raised to think rules and laws don't apply to him. This trial is costing Mommy and Daddy a bundle.

    April 23, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    What impact did it have on the presidential election??? You lost fair and square stupid!!!

    April 23, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Sgt. USMC

    "Not when you consider how impacting it was on a presidential election. It went beyond a prank."

    Funny how this statement from Palin can also apply to her. I am still waiting for McCain to come out publicly and tell us that she was nothing more than a prank on the American people.

    "Friends and family who have had to change all their contacts, all their e-mail addresses."

    Oh no and here you are trying to throw a young man in prison for a stupid little prank. You are pitiful Palin, quit playing the victim and be a woman about things.

    April 23, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Gloria

    What impact did it have on the presidential election??? You lost fair and square stupid!!!

    April 23, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. Sandy

    Perhaps if the governor had used the official state government email system instead of a personal email system for OFFICIAL business, this may not have happened.

    April 23, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Felonious Monk

    The only way it impacted the election was to reveal how she has no clue for security, computer or otherwise.

    Her primary means of communication with her family was email, ridiculous! Does she not own a cell phone.

    She still accepts no responsibility for her actions.

    April 23, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. A disgusted former Republican

    The hacking of Sarah's e-mail account had nothing to do with her and McCain losing an election; they did that all on their own!

    Stupid is as stupid does!

    April 23, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    What a DIVA !
    Is she going to ask for the Death Penalty ?

    April 23, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. js....santee

    So that is why they lost.................comes down to email hacker...a not very bright one at that. And I thought is was some Kenyan Terriiost plot..head expoldes!!!!!

    April 23, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. mike

    He would be in jail already if he had hacked into Obama's email

    April 23, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. Republican Bob - OH

    Was she question about using her yahoo account for public business in her capacity as governor?

    April 23, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. js....santee

    So that is why they lost.................comes down to email hacker...a not very bright one at that. And I thought is was some Kenyan Terriiost plot

    April 23, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. thomas

    What a Diva !
    Is she going to ask for the Death Penalty ?

    April 23, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. Thomas - MO

    Sarah has proven beyond doubt just how far a completely ignorant and soulless person can rise in America.

    April 23, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Jeff in Virginia

    Also an illegal action... Palin's use of personal email for government use. Conspicuously, there was no real investigation over this breaking of the law.

    Why do ALL of these articles neglect to bring up the reason for the hacking? Kernell exposed Palin's illegal e-mail use. And now he's the one being tried.

    April 23, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Wisconsinite

    ""documents stolen and disclosed to the rest of the world."

    Hey MORON LADY! You shouldn't have had any emails concerning government business or the campaign on your private email account! Jeeeeeesh this woman is so friggin' STUPID!

    April 23, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Suzan

    This had nothing to do with her and McCain losing the election.......McCain lost it because of the stupidity of this woman.......plain and simple........

    April 23, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. Jusitn

    So let me get this straight. She's complaining that it wasn't a prank because it had an impact on the election, but she told campaign advisers to chill because it wouldn't have an impact on the election? Hm.

    April 23, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Randy - The WitchfromWasilla

    She said the email assault caused HUGE damage...
    Yes, certainly from a WitchFromWasilla-viewpoint

    The witch wants the bloggers punished too b/c we know her lies and deceit.... It's the gotcha MSM that keeps the bimbo making millons but scream victim when the camera's is not on her!

    McCain, should be chained for this nasty woman appearing on national stage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. Jeff in Virginia

    Peter Hamby, who continually is puffing up conservatives and knocking down liberals, wrote this piece. Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of Kernell's motive for hacking, which was that Palin was illegally using a private email account for official state business.

    April 23, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    This woman really needs to be retrained as a human being. She just has no concept of anything. Who in their right mine that has a top level government job would use their personal e-mail account. Only Palin does it because she needed her friends to help her make descisions running the Alaska State government. This woman has no brains what so ever.

    April 23, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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