April 21st, 2010
07:23 AM ET
13 years ago

Trial resumes in Palin e-mail hacking case

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/21/art.palin.0808t.gi.jpg caption ="The trial of a man accused of hacking into then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s e-mail account during the 2008 presidential campaign is set to resume Wednesday in Knoxville, Tennessee."](CNN) - The trial of a man accused of hacking into the e-mail account of then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in 2008 is to resume Wednesday in Knoxville, Tennessee.

David Kernell, 22, 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.

Lawyers gave opening statements Tuesday, and Kernell's roommate, David Omiecinski, testified, according to Kathy Keeton, a manager in the court clerk's office.

Kernell is the son of Tennessee Rep. Mike Kernell, a Memphis Democrat. Authorities say the younger Kernell hacked into Palin's personal e-mail account during the 2008 presidential campaign, when 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 (15 Responses)
  1. 8 Years of the Bush Error = Recession and Record Unemployment for ? Years.

    As a private citizen and an employee of Fox, why is CNN giving this sow any face time?

    Can I assume that ther will be coverage of this private citizen during my next traffic court date to pay a fine? Are you going to start featuring Ryan Seacrest on every ticker EVERY day?

    April 21, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  2. Lame

    I don't get it. That guy who made the pimp video wire tapped a legislator and got off with probation. This guy guessed a password and they act like he is a hardcore hacker and is looking to do hard time? Seems a bit ridiculous to me.

    April 21, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  3. Bedtime for Obonzo

    This is not a Palin story. This is a story about a probable future felon. Nonetheless, prepare for liberal heads to start exploding.

    April 21, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess the question for me is: why were there state business related e-mails not on the state e-mail system? That is my understanding that many of the e-mails related to state business and operations.

    April 21, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. Mark

    Don't mess with Palin. She is so popular that it will never pay.

    April 21, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  6. Mike In Red State Kanass

    How is it that this case has made it to trial and yet Palin who was caught harassing her X-Brother in Law/State Trooper has faced no consequences from that action. Advice to the X-Brother in Law: Your X-Sister in Law is worth millions now, sue her for HALF of what she has.

    April 21, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  7. Ken in NC

    I wonder if she will get the bottle water with a bent straw and her $100,000 fee for showing up to testify.

    April 21, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. ross berg- Buffalo NY

    It's clearly a crime and let's hope he gets a penalty sufficiently stiff that it will discourage others from doing the same thing!!

    Probably could have gotten away with it...but stealing Palins DOB...that put it over the line!!!

    April 21, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  9. fortydam

    I'm now convinced that Palin is a product of the media. News agencies stand around waiting for this idiot to put her foot in her mouth. She lacks both the intelligence, and the ability to carry little more than twenty percent of the vote. That twenty percent are the over 55, uneducated, white, racist, and very uninformed FOX talk show groupies.

    April 21, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  10. charlie maultsby

    Welcome to the electronic age where hacking is not uncommon. If it was anyone besides Palin nothing would happen to this guy. The Feds are tying to make an example.Nothing is hardly ever done about hacking where credit card fraud comes in to play and the hackes steal from the normal citizens bank accounts, etc.Most of the time the Feds will not even investigate when hackers steal Info from people This example is a waste of money our gov't is famous for. The Feds should go catch the real and dangerous criminals. Give the guy community service for a year and stop wasting money. Our country protects the rich and does not protect the common person at all.

    April 21, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  11. Marie MD

    So the shrilla' from wasilla wants to now appear in court? What about when she and the dude were subpoenad and they didn't go to court?

    April 21, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. Tony (she got caught)

    Can anymore imagine the mangled incoherent emails that she sent? On the other hand – it's not against the law to guess someone's password. Sarah should not have been using Yahoo for state business, in order for her husband to use the account to help her run government business.....Period.

    Tony – AK (Republican)

    April 21, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. Alice_Weber

    Aside from the obvious illegal hacking, what ever happened to Palin's use of yahoo accounts for government business as a means of avoiding public scrutiny for the content of the people's business? Whatever happened to that investigation? Didn't Todd run the office while she was out getting her hair done and nails done?

    April 21, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  14. Ben in Texas

    Tell me, Sarah, how outraged were you when Bush/Cheney illegally wiretapped American citizen who had not been accused of any crime? How shocked were you when it came to light that Bush/Cheney had people tortured? How appalled were you when Bush/Cheney outed a CIA agent?

    I think your little email case is very small potatoes in comparison.

    April 21, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  15. Grahame Rhodes

    And he expected to find anything of intelligence on her emails?????
    NO! Sarah Palin has as much intelligence as a sack of her under-arm hair.

    April 21, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |