March 11th, 2010
09:26 PM ET
11 years ago

Palin to testify in e-mail case

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sarah Palin has been asked by the U.S. Department of Justice to testify against David C. Kernell."](CNN) - Sarah Palin and her husband Todd will testify in the federal case against a Tennessee man who allegedly accessed Palin's private e-mail account during the 2008 presidential race, Palin's attorney told CNN Thursday.

"Governor and Mr. Palin have been asked by the U.S. Department of Justice to testify in its ongoing criminal prosecution in the case of U.S. v Kernell," attorney Thomas Van Flein said in a statement. "The Palins expect to testify in person in Knoxville, Tennessee."

The case involves University of Tennessee student David C. Kernell, the 22-year old son of a Democratic state representative.

Kernell was indicted in October 2008 after he allegedly used information freely available online to guess the password to Palin's personal Yahoo! account, the name of which was posted on numerous Web sites at the time. Kernell accessed the account around the same time questions were being raised about Palin's use of personal e-mail accounts to conduct state business as governor of Alaska.

After gaining access to Palin's account, Kernell allegedly reset the password, scanned her account for potentially damaging information and posted the new password to a public Web site.

Federal prosecutors broadened their case against Kernell in 2009, charging him with four felonies: identity theft, wire fraud, computer fraud and obstructing a federal investigation. Kernell has pleaded not guilty to all four counts.

A federal judge has set the trial date for April 20.

Reached by CNN, Kernell's attorney Wade Davies declined to comment on the case.

Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Reason

    I so love it everytime Gov. Palin's name is in the news. It just drives the LOONS CRAZY. How is it that one person can so intimidate and befuddled so many narrow-minded, hate filled partisans. I hope she continues to make news so the LOONS just exhaust themselves with their unfounded disdain for her.

    March 11, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  2. That gimmick Palin

    Be careful Palin. You are gonna be under oath, so that means you can't lie!

    March 11, 2010 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  3. hooba kabba

    It's the patriot act reversed. Most Americans would probably pat this kid on the back for a job well done. To bad he didn't find the incriminating evidence. The crooks and terrorists are in Washington, yet they are watching you as if you are the enemy.

    March 11, 2010 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  4. Larry in Battle Ground

    I am a life-long Republican voter who clearly remembers "We Want Wilkie" and "No Third Term." Before 2008 I had NEVER voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and wouldn't have dreamed of voting against McCain, a true American hero, if he had not picked someone so obviously unqualified as Palin for a running mate. Since then she has shown herself to be either very stupid or a liar. "Death Panels" was either a lie or evidence of her ignorance and to be honest, I don't think she is stupid though her comment about involvement in foreign affairs because Russians had to fly over Alaska to reach the USA wasn't exactly brilliant. Bottom line? Please keep the Palin stories coming. They are an amusing distraction from the sad news about our government's gridlock.

    March 11, 2010 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  5. cathy

    It is Mr. and Mrs. Palin, She is not the governor. She served for half a term, and is not entitled to that title.

    March 11, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. jess prokopio

    I cannot believe how many of these posters defend the person who illegally accessed her email. What has happened to the American values. If he's proven guilty, do you guys think he should not be punished because the victim was Sarah Palin? Is this the value we want to project to the rest of the world? Someday, some of you will become a victim of crime. Whether the crime is minor or major, you would clamor for justice because if you don't get it, it will stick to your body, mind and soul forever...just my own honest opinion.

    March 11, 2010 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. Randy-Alaska

    She'll probably have "I do.", written on her right palm during the swearing betcha!

    March 11, 2010 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  8. maria

    Palin does not need a PR person she stays in the news for free.

    March 11, 2010 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  9. Vignesh

    He must have guessed it by looking for the phrase "Password =" on her hand.

    On a more serious note....why is the hacker of a politician attacked so fiercely, but not whoever leaked the climate control e-mails?

    March 11, 2010 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  10. Robin H.

    Sarah Palin: the Chauncey Gardiner of politics.

    March 11, 2010 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  11. Nobody

    Sounds like a set-up to get her face in the media again.

    March 11, 2010 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  12. Mary

    In this story, Ms. Palin is referred to as "Governor Palin." Fail. I realize that political terms, such as "governor" or "president" are used to refer to those who previously held office, but Ms. Palin resigned. Therefore, she gave up her title.

    March 11, 2010 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  13. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    Does anybody really believe that this women would not lie under oath... please... an oath is only as good as the person making it. She has the character of a heroin addict needing a fix.

    March 11, 2010 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  14. Omavi

    Sarah Palin is the type of person who thinks that a "brain storm" is standing just right, and listening to the wind whistling through her ears.

    March 11, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  15. Caz

    "Governor and Mr. Palin"?


    You must mean "Former Governor and Mr. Palin".

    She QUIT that job, remember?

    March 11, 2010 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  16. Debi

    Two things:
    1. I hate Palin's ideology.
    2. I think the kid should be punished just as much (no more, no less) than any other person that invaded a person's emails.

    If the kid is punished it will show Palin that the government does actually work for the people.

    March 11, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  17. Minnesota gal

    Politics should have nothing to do with this. They guy should never have accessed a personal email account and should be published. I think anybody doing something like this should be prosecuted.

    March 11, 2010 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  18. Seattle Voter

    Poor Palin. I hope the Judge will educate her what admissible and what is not. But then if she plays dumb (oh, wait a minute she is) then I'm sure she can convince all the jurors that is is truly a victim. Why is she still on the news anyways when there are a lot of issues that needs attention? Who care about Palin?

    March 11, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  19. Mary

    I have seen many reports about many politicians accused and convicted of very bad things. Yet I have never seen such vicious and ugly remarks about any of them (except a few presidents). Why are so many making Palin their "whipping girl?" There has to be a reason. She has done nothing to deserve this!

    I have lived long enough to observe some strange behaviors. I've noticed that some men will develop a kind of "hate" for a woman they are very attracted to, but know she would never even notice or be attracted to them. Also, I've known women that are envious of someone prettier and more admired and successful than them.

    Is this what is happening? Any comments???

    March 11, 2010 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  20. Mike

    I hope they send the little liberal bedwetting boy to jail for breaking into someones e-mails.

    March 11, 2010 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  21. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    When she puts her hand on the Bible will it burst into flames?

    March 11, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  22. Independent in NC

    I'm not a Palin fan by any means, but accessing another person's email account without permission is a crime. It doesn't matter if he guessed the password or hacked the system, he did not have a right to view her messages. It really saddens me that most of comments on here are geared toward destroying the victim just because it's Sarah Palin. Is this what has nation has come to? Equal rights, unless we don't like you, then you deserve what you get?

    March 11, 2010 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. Michael

    Too bad we can't get Palin under oath to talk about her own ethical challenges.

    March 11, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    The one good thing about Palin is that by picking her McCain showed what an idiot he is.

    March 12, 2010 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  25. Drew

    As a system administrator myself for the DOD, I think the real crime committed here is Palin not securing her own email by creating an easily guessable password that someone could guess by information that is publicly available to anyone.

    Computer users like Palin are the cause of viruses, trojans, cracked accounts and all the other malicious activities across the internet because they simply couldn't come up with a secure password.

    March 12, 2010 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
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