Bristol Palin says she got calls after Mom’s e-mail hacked
By Robby O’Daniel
A Tennessee college student on trial for hacking into Sarah Palin’s e-mail account and posting it on the Web during the 2008 presidential campaign heard from Palin’s daughter, Bristol, who testified she was flooded with phone calls as a result.
One call to the then-17-year-old’s cell phone came in the middle of the night at the family home in Wasilla, Alaska, from “a bunch of boys” who claimed to be outside the house and wanted to be let in.
“That was scary because we lived in the middle of nowhere,” Bristol Palin told the jury at the trial of David Kernell, the 22-year-old son of a Democratic state legislator. Kernell faces several years in prison if convicted of fraud, identity theft and other charges.
Prosecutors say Kernell was angling for information to damage Sarah Palin, Republican John McCain’s running mate in the campaign.
Kernell has pleaded not guilty to what his lawyer said amounted to a misguided prank. Kernell had been intrigued by published reports that Palin used the e-mail account for state business as governor of Alaska, and he had managed to guess the answers to the account’s security questions and changed the password.
Some of the e-mails Kernell made accessible on the Web included Bristol Palin’s cell phone number, and others had photographs of Palin’s children.
Bristol Palin testified she had been frightened by the flood of calls she received in September 2008, and turned over the cell phone to Secret Service agents after the contents of the account were posted online. Both her parents were on the campaign trail at the time and, after the cell phone was canceled, she had difficulty contacting them, she said.
Palin’s former assistant, Frank Bailey, testified that he had set up the e-mail account for his boss, but warned Palin’s husband Todd that it was not secure. Among the security questions were where Todd attended high school: Wasilla High.