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. Mike in Oregon

    The FBI is probably waiting to file charges until they have scoured his hard drive and identified other obamabot hackers and then charge them ALL!

    Obamabots what ya gonna do when thry come for you!

    September 22, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Hillary Democrat

    The democrats are desperate. They will do any thing illegally to win. I am so glad Hillary not the VP choice...she deserves better than an Obama ticket run by crooks like Pelosi and Reid and the Chicago Mafia.
    McCain in 2008 and Hillary in 2012

    September 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Trina

    Oh, come on. I tried to post this a minute ago but the comment system has apparently failed me.

    Sarah Palin's e-mail never got "hacked". Hacked is the wrong word. If this is hacking, then anyone with half a brain and the ability to use Google can do it.

    She was using a Yahoo e-mail address for one (one of the least secure e-mail providers I've seen), and she had set her Account Security Question to "What is my zip code?" C'mon, the kid wasn't being vicious – he got lucky. Chances are, if she would have secured her account just a little bit better this "scandal" would have never happened. Oh, and nothing of real value was found.

    Chalk this one up to the GOP trying to make something out of nothing, once again.

    September 22, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. White Mother for Obama!!

    So they are ready to throw someone in jail over email hacking that didnt result to anything important.....

    BUT.... her husband and her and her staff can ignore a supoena and not be thrown in jail???

    Where is the law here?????

    September 22, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Sally

    Why is Palin Not being investigated ?????

    Why was Palin using personal mail for Govt. business ????

    If the e-mails for Govt. business, they belong to the Government, Not to Palin.

    When you work for a company and use company mail for personal use, the mail is the property of the company.

    Palin should be Fired !

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. Sammy

    Tell you what McCain supporters....

    I will say the democratic party had a hand in getting into Palin's email if you say the republican party is tampering with people's right to vote.

    September 22, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Goddess

    I am more concerned that Palin and her cohorts are ignoring the subpeonas....but that is just me. Lets worry about the emails on yahoo and ignore the more serious crime being committed.

    September 22, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Rob, Washington

    Wow, all you people need to lighten up. If nothing else, this incident proves that Palin wasn't doing anything wrong.

    See, here's the deal. One of the things gathered was that yes, she sent email to people in her government from the yahoo email address. However, those emails were to email addresses.

    Those email addresses, anything sent to or from them, would be logged in accordance with government logging rules and FOIA laws.

    If she was trying to skirt those rules, WHY WOULD SHE EMAIL ACCOUNTS THAT WOULD SAVE THE EMAILS ANYWAY?

    There's only two reasons for that. 1) She wasn't trying to do anything wrong, and maybe it was more convenience. 2) She has no clue how email works and is just dumb.

    September 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Interesting

    Who's searching Sarah & Todd for the truth in Troopergate?

    September 22, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Jesse from Berlin

    Are they that fast? why donĀ“t they react about the Troopergate?

    September 22, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. fella from Chicago

    This is what happens when children hear disrespectful rhetoric preached in the home. The kid thought his Democratic daddy would praise him for illegally hacking into Governor Palin's computer. Maybe son, but now he can give you an atta boy while you're serving time in a Federal prison.

    September 22, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Phil, Ashburn, VA

    Why would you use simple security questions like date of birth etc. She is dumb.

    September 22, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. John

    Let's remember that the subpoena issued to Gov. Palin was issued not by a court but by hostile state legislators. She is not active "above the law" because they do not have legal jurisdiction in the case or over the executive branch. On the other hand, I don't know how so many people can justify one person hacking another person's email account. I'm truly disgusted.

    September 22, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. ran

    CNN how come your not finding out why she used Yahoo for Gov business.

    People open your eyes and ears and vote Obama/Biden and other Democtats this time so we can get our country back.

    September 22, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. Debby

    What was the purpose or did this kid think he would find out something to bring to the Obama campaign for the Oct. surprise. What a stupid move.

    September 22, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. Tired of W, OH

    Come on! This sure stinks like a setup. I imagine the plan went something like this:

    1) McCain's poll numbers were falling, so a distraction was called for.
    2) They set the bait of an unsecure Yahoo e-mail account, which should never be used for official business because of privacy concerns.
    3) They waited for some idiot kid to take the bait (anyone that would take the bait would presumably be from the opposing party).

    Now they have their distraction and they can attempt to take the media's focus off of the horrendous week that McCain had. Anything so that they don't have to talk about the issues.

    We've seen this before and anyone that follows politics have been expecting it.

    September 22, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. lyn

    The people of America want to know what this woman Palin is hiding. It have to be very dishonest for the McSame camp to stop the investigation in Wasilla, so I don't blame anyone for being interested.

    September 22, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA



    September 22, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. CNN = Jerry Springer of news

    This is wrong and the person who did this should be punished. Even though Palin using her home email for work purposes is very Cheney-esque, that doesn't make hacking into her account acceptable. This person should cooperate with the law as well as Todd Palin should honor his subpoena for the 'Troopergate' investigation.

    Obama-Biden '08

    September 22, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. David

    Democrats engaging in illegal activities? How could this happen President Clinton? LOL.

    September 22, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. MD, TX

    Keep digging and the trail will lead to Obama, guaranteed. Obama is a Chicago thug, nothing more.

    September 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    I think all the Democrats to include Obama should be investigated by the FBI, CIA and some other alphabet organizations.

    I can't believe the DNC would approve this, but they did approve dissing Hillary out of the nomination.

    Vote for McCain. He will protect our values and our country. Obama is a risk and he is scary. I don't want to roll the dice for my freedom. Vote for McCain.

    September 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. David Goldman for OBAMA




    September 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. Karla

    Isn't is funny that the FBI is searching this kids home and they still can't get Todd and his "dude crew" to answer a subpoena.

    September 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. Are you serious

    You used yahoo to do government business, I know at my job I would get fired for sending business related stuff via personal email.

    September 22, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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