Skip to comments.Rep. Kernell's son's trial over alleged Sarah Palin e-mail hacking to begin
Posted on 04/20/2010 5:48:57 AM PDT by Libloather
Rep. Kernell's son's trial over alleged Sarah Palin e-mail hacking to begin
By Richard Locker
Posted April 19, 2010 at midnight
Echoes of the heated 2008 presidential election may reverberate in a Knoxville courtroom this week as David Kernell goes on trial on charges stemming from the hacking of Sarah Palin's e-mail account two months before the election.
Kernell, now 22, is a 2006 Germantown High School graduate, state championship chess player and the son of 36-year state Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis. He was a University of Tennessee physics and engineering student when federal authorities allege he accessed a personal e-mail account of Palin, governor of Alaska and Republican vice presidential nominee at the time.
Nineteen months later, David Kernell has put college on hold to deal with the charges against him. He has pleaded not guilty to all four counts: identity theft, wire fraud, unauthorized access to a protected computer in furtherance of aiding and abetting the same offense, and obstruction of justice.
"Anytime someone has been indicted and has the Justice Department after them, it takes up most of your attention. But he'll be back in school this summer," the elder Kernell said Friday.
His son could not be reached. His Knoxville attorney, Wade Davies, declined to discuss the case Friday, saying only, "I'm ready to try the case in the courtroom."
Palin has been subpoenaed by prosecutors to testify at the trial, scheduled to start Tuesday morning with jury selection before U.S. Dist. Judge Thomas W. Phillips. Final pretrial arguments are set for today.
The case began in September 2008 when media reports surfaced, in the heat of the presidential race, that Palin used personal e-mail accounts to conduct some state business. Federal prosecutors allege that after that news surfaced, a hacker used publicly available information about the governor to correctly answer password-reset security questions for the account, firstname.lastname@example.org, reset the password, then accessed and perused e-mail there.
An FBI probe coordinated out of the Justice Department's headquarters quickly focused on David Kernell through an Internet screen name previously linked to him, "rubico," and used on chat room postings about the episode. Agents seized Kernell's laptop computer at his Knoxville apartment.
In her book, "Going Rogue: An American Life," Palin called the intrusion "the most disruptive and discouraging" incident in the campaign and said it "created paralysis" in her state office.
Although nothing politically harmful surfaced in the e-mail, it confirmed she used it to correspond with staff about state business.
Alaska's chief state security officer, Darrell Davis, acknowledged in an affidavit in the Kernell case that a state employee "set up the Yahoo account for Gov. Palin." The affidavit was in a motion last week by Alaska officials to quash a subpoena for more records. The motion said it would require a total of "2,157 hours of our staff's time ... valued at $124,760.88" to comply.
Judge Phillips and Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley have rejected several defense motions, including one last week to permit a written questionnaire of jurors to screen for potential political bias from extensive publicity.
Another Kernell motion denied would have required introduction of several e-mails dealing with state issues, to show the account was not entirely "personal." It cited a letter from Palin's attorney saying some e-mail not turned over included "copies of discussions between the governor and her staff on a court of appeals judge appointment, comments on pending legislation ... communications from the attorney general ... and several documents that would qualify as protected personnel records."
Mike Kernell said he plans to attend to legislative and constituent business and to drive to Knoxville on evenings when he can to support his son. The defendant's mother, Dr. Lillian Landrigan -- an Army dentist who did a tour of duty in Iraq and is now stationed in Honolulu -- will attend the trial, her former husband said.
Give him probation only if he can hack one particular birth certificate.
Bet he walks on all counts. It will be easy for the defense to make sure a few moron liberals sneak onto to the jury.
Little punk. “My daddy will pay me out of this so I can be a Rep too one day”
If his resume ever passes my desk it won't stay there for long.
Do they have a college in the federal penitentiary that the criminal should be sent to, or is Daddy subverting justice and arranging for his to get away with his crime? This little rodent attempted to mess with the foundation of our government, a free and fair election, and with the privacy rights of a US citizen. He deserves to go away for a LONG time.
They’re going to make the trial about the victim. The prosecution needs to hammer the point that the contents of the emails are irrelevant.
Small world. The mayor of Germantown is Russell Wiseman who made Olbermann's worst person list for suspecting that President Obama timed a speech to preempt the Charlie Brown Christmas special.
I’d hire him in a second for my IT security team.
Yes, and that action would bite you in the ass one day.
With just a few more leftist judges in the system were going to have a situation where political philosophy decides the verdict. I haven’t seen much indication that liberal judges make any serious attempt at impartiality.
Liberals are deficient in the scruples department.
So true. If I break into your house, then while inside I find something isn’t kosher inside your house, and at trial I try to make the point that I found something wrong inside, therefore, I should be found not guilty for breaking in, uh, DUH, my defense attorney and I would be laughed out of the courtroom (and in my case, right into jail). Same thing in this case. He broke into her private account. Other points, issues, are irrelevant.
Is he really that brilliant? I read that he just guessed answers to some of the security questions, like “your high school.”
Oh, yes, what he did was totally in the national interest /sarc
Alinsky Rule: “Immoral people do not have to be held to moral standards.”
Perfect example of a biased headline. The e-mail hacking is not "alleged" it did occur. The son is the "alleged" hacker.
That headline is like saying: OJ trial begins over the alleged murder of Nicole.
Kernell, now 22, is a 2006 Germantown High School graduate, state championship chess player and the son of 36-year state Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis.
No one noticed this - Dad was 13 when ...
Kinda like the big O ?
Why? He showed no talent at all except for a total disregard for privacy and the law. All he did was employ some minor and easy to do social engineering. Nothing fancy and certainly not worthy of a job in IT security...
36 years in the state house... Old man with a penchant for younger women. Oh wait, that’s normal for the rich.
Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis [aka thug-0-crat]
Filing this in ...
THUG-O-CRAT hit list [shocking links and headlines]
[Now past 80 posts]
That would be a mistake.
It is my experience that if he would do something illegal and unethical to someone else he would do it to you. It's just a matter of the right incentives. Just because he knows how to social engineer a yahoo mail password does not make him a black hat security expert. Even if it did black hat security guys should not be trusted. They are of value in doing controlled analysis work or external penetration testing. I would make sure they are always supervised and never given any of the “keys to the kingdom”.
This is my experience from holding the CISSP, CISSP-ISSEP, and CISA certifications. I have also worked for the past 16 years in the payroll, insurance and medical data fields. I have seen and dealt with these types. They are not to be trusted.
Thanks for the ping!