Son of Democratic Politician Indicted for Hacking Palin's E-mail

David C. Kernell, 20, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville, Tenn., for "intentionally accessing without authorization the e-mail account of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin," the Justice Department says.

Kernell's father is Tennessee State Rep. Mike Kernell, a Democrat.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division, and U.S. Attorney James R. Dedrick for the Eastern District of Tennessee, announced today that Kernell turned himself in to federal authorities for arrest and will be arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley.

The indictment states that, on approximately Sept. 16, 2008, Kernell "obtained unauthorized access" to Palin’s personal e-mail account by allegedly resetting the account password.

Kernell then allegedly read her e-mails and made screenshots of the e-mail directory, e-mail content and other personal information and, per the indictment, posted screenshots of the e-mails and other personal information to a public Web site. 

Kernell, if convicted, faces five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of supervised release.

- jpt

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