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I, Sarah Palin defender

Last night I appeared on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann to talk about a story that had been driven into the mainstream by the blog PalinGates. The story: Palin made three statements that PalinGates believed may have been false, and therefore grounds for perjury. Those statements: denying to have used her hacked Yahoo account for government business, suggesting that the story of how she met her husband was not well-known (the answer was her security question, used by the hacker), and suggesting that the hacking spurred rumors that her son Trig was not hers.

After the story was brought to my attention I read the local reports and contacted Palin aides and local reporters. What I found -- the first statement, the only one that might have been grounds for a perjury claim if PalinGates was right, did not actually present a problem for Palin. The questioning of Palin was limited to a few e-mails. E-mails concerning government business -- as opposed to political business and business related to Palin's life in the governor's mansion -- were not brought up.

That's basically what I said on Countdown. Here's the clip.

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Today, PalinGates published a lengthy attack on me, including a screenshot of a friendly email I sent them before I went on the show, after my own reporting had convinced me that their first post was mostly baseless. Here's their take.

David Weigel was not in the courtroom - but Jamie Satterfield was. Yet, David apparently did not take very seriously what Sarah Palin actually said in her testimony in Knoxville. I cannot see how he "debunked" the accusation that Sarah might have committed perjury.

And here's what I actually said.

We need to see the transcript, but it doesn't sound like she actually trapped herself in anything here. The defense attorney, Wade Davies, was prohibited from taking this much further than the questions about what -- the e-mails that were sent, that were asked about previously. She stuck to saying that it was political e-mails, e-mails about the governor`s mansion.

The e-mails that you were talking about didn't really come up. So the people I talked to inside the courtroom say maybe she could have fudged the words a little bit less, but this doesn`t seem to be a problem for her.

I think it's pretty clear which of us was looking for the facts and which of us is trafficking in innuendo. There is just no case for accusing Palin of perjury.

By David Weigel  |  April 27, 2010; 1:32 PM ET
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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