September 22nd, 2008
01:04 PM ET
14 years ago

FBI searches home of lawmaker's son in Palin e-mail hacking

(CNN) - FBI agents investigating the hacking of a personal email account belonging to Alaska governor Sarah Palin have searched the home of the son of a Democratic state legislator, federal law enforcement sources said Monday.

The search occurred late Saturday and early Sunday at the Knoxville home of David Kernell, 20, son of Memphis Democrat Mike Kernell.

Officially, Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney acknowledged Monday only that "investigative activity occurred" over the weekend. But three sources familiar with the case confirmed the search of Kernell's residence. No documents have been made public showing what equipment or evidence agents had seized.

The sources requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing and no charges have yet been filed.

Although charges may be filed, none was believed to be imminent, according to the sources.
Palin's email account was hacked, and some of the contents were displayed briefly last week on an Internet website.

Although the displayed messages did not contain significant political disclosures, the McCain-Palin campaign issued a statement calling the incident "a shocking invasion of the governor's privacy and a violation of law."

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    "The problem with being above the law, is that you lose its protection"

    ...Someone said this on the Emmys last night.

    September 22, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Que Quedas

    yeah we go again.....executive priveledge to personal email accounts...........

    September 22, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Who cares? I want to see the conclusion of the troopergate investigation, not this distraction.

    September 22, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    mccain owes the usa an apology for choosing this person!!!!

    September 22, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Spencer from VA

    This kid should get a medal or a investigative reporting merit badge. He probably knows more about Plain old Sara more than the media does.

    September 22, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. sandee in Portland

    I agree that the "kid" shouldn't have hacked into anyone's e-mail account, but she was dishonest in using her Yahoo account for government business. Her personal Yahoo account had no transparency like her official account. She thought she could use it and nothing in it would be subject to disclosure. I, personally, am happy this "kid" brought this to light. Just like everything else to do with Palin, she has no integrity, no honesty and if I hear her whinny minnie mouse voice one more time, I'm going to shoot my TV.

    September 22, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    McCain did it! He invented the Blackberry you know!

    September 22, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Blue Collar Workers for Obama

    They also need to search Todd Palin's office and computer. Why is he involved in Alaskan Gov business. Also why is Sarah using Yahoo and not the official government e-mail.


    September 22, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Marie in California

    If this guy did the hacking, I say "Hang his butt!" no matter how big and powerful his daddy might be!

    And that is a non-partisan statement!

    September 22, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. phil-texas

    You know what the scum b i is looking fordon't you ? Anything that they can use to tie this hacker to Obama just wait and see.

    September 22, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. mahogany

    Does Palin really think she can lie her way into the white house. She has been telling lies since day one! Shes running for the highest office in the country, and with that–there is no more privacy! She brought her kids out there and now has decided that they shouldn't be exposed to whats really going on. Palin and Mccain are definetely a perfect match, both telling one lie after the other. Wake up people and smell the coffee!

    September 22, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    Why won't anyone hack McCain's eMail?

    ..oh that's right, he doesn't know how to use it.

    He invented the Blackberry though!

    September 22, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Hilary B

    I'm not going to be the least bit surprised if the Republicans try to use this to their advantage and put out an ad about it.

    Now, if only we can get Palin, et. al, to be held accountable for their unethical acts.......

    September 22, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. li

    "Shouldn't they be investigating Palin instead?"
    "CNN how come your not finding out why she used Yahoo for Gov business."

    Doesn't matter. Separate issues....invalid arguments.

    It is a federal crime to hack someone's personal email. It is another crime to post this information onto the internet and furhtermore it is another crime to post contact information of minors (in this case Palin's children). Some nut actually called one of her daughters on her cell phone! And no they are not fair game because they went on stage with her. The other candidates did too. There are laws to protect children no matter who their parents are.

    Just because you don't like republicans or disagree with their policies, doesn't mean they don't have rights just like you do. If this happened to the Bidens or the Obamas you'd cry foul.

    September 22, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Matt in Dallas

    You know it really doesn't matter if she used Yahoo! Mail, the US Mail or the Pony Express. If someone choosed to invade her privacy then that is a felony. I hope the kid gets some jail time.

    I'd actually like to see if he did this on his own accord or if someone put him up to it. You never know.

    September 22, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. Calvin

    Since Democrats are big believers in privacy, they should be forgiven when they are found hacking into other people's emails.

    September 22, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Obama is REAL Change

    So this BOY is search by the FBI, But Palin is running for one of the MOST important position in the world and she isn't VETTED by the FBI? Palin also can get her husband and the rest of the bulling posse (Grown people) to NOT follow the law and show up for the case where they, especially her ABUSED HER POWER toward her bother in law and his boss.

    I SEE why she thinks she is above the LAW....................

    If this is how she and her family are going to act in the White House, GOD help us! If this boy was held accountable for his actions, WHY does her and her husband (& co posse) can break the law and disregard a COURT ordered document, and not be arrested?
    Obama/Biden 08

    September 22, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    David Kernell should marry someone who is running for office. According to (the Palin interpretation of) the law, he could then decide not to cooperate with the investigation.

    September 22, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. David

    Hacking into a email account is a simple thing to do. As a Govenor and Public figure (who's personal background and information can be found with a quick Google search) Govenor Palin should have known better than to open such an unsecure account for any reason.

    Remember, the internet is only as safe as your ability to stay safe online. Otherwise you risk some very bad surprises.

    September 22, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Catherine

    Can't he just ignore the subpoena like Todd Palin and the others have????

    I love how the McCain/Palin Camp and republicans are all over this investigation and pressing the investigation about e-mail hacking but don't care at all about the investigation into the possible abuse of power by Palin with the Montegan and Wooten investigation.

    Just another example of the republican double standard. Republicans as such hypocrites.

    September 22, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Michael, watching from Canada

    Why does the press jump on a story that implicates guilt before the alleged is to be found guilty?

    Another convenient distraction for the Republicans to get away from the important issues?

    What about Troopergate? Another Republican cover-up?

    Why not google Anne Kilkenny to get the real truth on Ms Palin?

    September 22, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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