UPDATE 9/21: FBI serves search warrant?
UPDATED & BUMPED (AGAIN): Scripps News:
On Wednesday, the FBI and Secret Service launched an investigation that includes agents in Memphis. C.M. Sturgis, a spokesman for the Memphis FBI branch, confirmed late Thursday that his office is involved.UPDATE: The Washington Times:
"All I can say is that a matter was referred to us from the Anchorage, Alaska, office. An investigation at this time is being coordinated out of FBI headquarters in the Department of Justice," Sturgis said.
Tennessee state Rep. Mike Kernell, Memphis Democrat, last night disputed published newspaper reports, including one in the Tennessean that said his son was the focus of the Palin hack investigation.UPDATE II: Linked at Hot Air -- also in headlines -- and in an update by Michelle Malkin. Thanks. Memphis Flyer, Knoxville's WLTI-TV and Nashville's NewsChannel5 are also following the story. Keep an eye on those reporters in Tennessee. Local reporters hunting a scoop of national importance? They won't miss a thing.
"I talked to David today and he has not been contacted, not a target by any federal group, any investigation," Mr. Kernell told The Washington Times on Thursday night. He was answering phones at his office late into the evening to clear up inaccurate media reports, he said.
When asked whether his son is involved in the case in any way, Mr. Kernell said: "I can't talk about my son. I can just tell you no one has contacted him or I about this."
UPDATED & BUMPED: Memphis TV reporter Shane Myers has a photo of Kernell and reports that local talk radio host Mike Fleming of WREC is on the story.
"Exercise caution, as it’s a serious charge and there’s no proof of guilt yet."OK, maybe "rubico10" was just bragging about a hack he didn't actually do. And maybe "rubico10" is a common Web nickname, like "bi19cheerldr." And maybe a Democrat's chess-nerd son with emotional issues isn't the only one who "really wanted to get something incriminating" about the GOP vice-presidential candidate. It's all just a coincidence, no conclusions can be drawn from these random facts, and not even Andrew Sullivan would bother to do a "just asking questions" post about it.
UPDATE II: Duh. I thought the photo of David Kernell was new stuff, but apparently Ace already flaming-skulled it hours ago. It's hard to get up-to-speed when you fall behind on a breaking story like this, and I was taking a nap this afternoon when the latest stuff started happening. Anyway, Ace is asking people to e-mail him any dirt they've got on David Kernell.
PREVIOUSLY: I didn't name him earlier, but David Kernell is the guy suspected of hacking Sarah Palin's e-mail account. Michelle Malkin notes that the Nashville Tennessean is on the story:
The son of state Rep. Mike Kernell has been contacted by authorities in connection with a probe into the hacking of the personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Kernell confirmed on Thursday.Bloggers -- including Malkin, Free Republic, Gateway Pundit and Eric Dondero -- were ahead of the MSM on this. Kudos to the Tennessean for the follow-up, confirming that the FBI and Secret Service have also identified Kernell as a person of interest in the investigation. (Drudge links to the Knoxville News Sentinel, which is also following up.)
Kernell, a Memphis Democrat, said his 20-year-old son David had been contacted by authorities investigating the hacking of Palin’s personal email account.
Earlier today, Eric Dondero e-mailed me to ask whether I thought the Internet sleuths were barking up the right tree. From my reply:
Heh -- it was barely two hours later that the Tennessean confirmed the investigation. Michelle has an entire thread about the recto-cranial inversion at the Associated Press, which seems to think that any story involving Sarah Palin must follow a "Republican scandal" narrative, but I'd like to point to the good work of the Tennessean and the News-Sentinel in defense of the American press.
If it is him, you'll almost certainly be hearing more in the next few days. The Justice Department is run by political appointees and always leaks like a sieve. If the FBI birddogs on this kid, somebody will leak the word to the Washington Post or Politico. Plus, if they get a search warrant on the kid, somebody in Memphis will notice and alert the media.
My gut hunch: There will be an MSM story on the kid linked at Drudge by Tuesday.
Earlier, in response to my statement that "since this is a high-profile federal felony investigation, I don't think it will be long before we have full details," commenter Mike G in Corvallis wrote:
I think it will be a while before the facts become known to the general public. The mainstream media will be very reluctant to publicize this, in the interest of protecting his privacy. And they wouldn't want to do anything that would adversely affect his family, you know.The Tennessean has vindicated my confidence in the basic reportorial sense of the American press. The hacking of the personal e-mail account of a vice-presidential candidate is a crime of such proportion that the reporter who gets the story first is a stud. How often does a reporter in Nashville get a scoop on a story that big?
Trust me when I say that sources at the Justice Department are probably already fielding phone calls from reporters in Washington. You think the Washington Post wants to get scooped by the Washington Times or the Politico -- let alone some hillbilly reporter in Tennessee -- on this story?
UPDATE: Just wanted to add a shout-out to Glenn Greenwald, and ask him how he likes getting skunked by "the bottom layer of the right-wing noise machine."