Did the internet just cause Sarah Palin to destroy evidence? The potential Veep is in a bit of trouble for conducting state business using her personal, unarchived email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) instead of her official account (which is, of course, subject to laws requiring the retention of government records). Emails from that Yahoo account are already being sought in connection with the Troopergate investigation. Now comes word that Anonymous , the fun-loving Internet trouble-makers based loosely around the message board 4Chan , gained access to another Palin email account: email@example.com. It looks legit! The offending posts, screenshots, heretofore unseen family photos, and emails have all been deleted from Imageshack and 4Chan. But we have them. You want to read Sarah Palin's email? Ok, sad thing first: a good Samaritan reset the password and tried to alert Sarah. But he also posted the new password, causing multiple people to try to log in at once, freezing the account for 24 hours. And now, the account has been deleted! Which is, as we said, maybe destruction of evidence? So for now this is, we think, all we'll get to see from this email account (if anyone finds evidence of saved emails, let us know.) The full timeline of events, with corroborating evidence of the legitimacy of these screengrabs, is here. Here's why it all looks convincing:
- The emails to Ivy Frye, a Palin aide who's mentioned in the earlier email stories specifically wondering how best to hide her correspondence with the governor.
- The attached contact list (below) features an email address for husband Todd Palin that is legit. As well as an apparently genuine phone number for Bristol Palin and an address for Beth Leschper, Palin's deputy communications director.
- The email from Amy McCorkell, a known associate of Palin's from Wasilla who might have the governor's personal email address.
- Emails to and from Lt Governor Sean Parnell about a local radio talk host.
- Calls to the phone number listed for Bristol Palin apparently go to her voicemail.
- The public profile for the gov.palin address dates its last update to April of this year—well before she became McCain's running mate. So if it's a hoax, it's a hoax that began long before anyone outside of Alaska cared about Palin.
- We haven't seen these family photos before. Have we?
- The previously accessible public profiles for gov.sarah@yahoo and gov.palin@yahoo were both deleted at the same time.
ARLINGTON, VA — Today, McCain-Palin 2008 Campaign Manager Rick Davis issued the following statement concerning reports about Governor Palin's email and an invasion of privacy: "This is a shocking invasion of the Governor's privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these emails will destroy them. We will have no further comment."Point one: legitimacy confirmed! Point two: I guess we'll have to blow up the internet now?