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United States v. Kernell

667 F.3d 746 (2012)

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United States v. Kernell

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

667 F.3d 746 (2012)

Facts

During the 2008 presidential campaign, David Kernell (defendant) illegally obtained access to the email account of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Kernell then posted on an anonymous internet message board that he had accessed Palin’s email account and divulged the password so that others could also access the account. The next day, Kernell posted another message explaining that he deleted his previous post for fear that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would learn of his hacking of the account. Kernell subsequently deleted information from his computer relating to his unauthorized access of Palin’s account. Kernell was indicted for obstruction of justice based on his deletion of information from his computer, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519. Kernell moved for acquittal on the ground that § 1519 was unconstitutional and that the prosecution had failed to produce sufficient evidence. The district court denied the motion. Kernell appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cole, J.)

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