Nine people were indicted Wednesday on federal charges of accessing President Barack Obama's student loan records while they were employed for a Department of Education contractor in Iowa.
The U.S. attorney's office said a grand jury returned the indictments in U.S. District Court in Davenport.
All nine are charged with exceeding authorized computer access. They are accused of gaining access to a computer at a Coralville office where they worked between July 2007 and March 2009, and accessing Obama's student loan records while he was either a candidate for president, president-elect or president.
U.S. attorney spokesman Mike Bladel referred questions to online copies of the indictments.
Each of eight indictments posted by Wednesday night were brief, saying the charged individual "intentionally exceeded authorized access to a computer and thereby obtained information from a department and agency of the United States" and "intentionally accessed student loan records" of Obama without authorization.
Those charged are Andrew J. Lage, 54, Patrick E. Roan, 51, Sandra Teague, 54 and Mercedes Costoyas, 53, all of Iowa City; Gary N. Grenell, 58, and Lisa Torney, 49, of Coralville; Anna C. Rhodes, 32, of Ainsworth; Julie L. Kline, 38, of West Branch; and John P. Phommivong, 29, for whom no hometown was listed.
Lage told The Associated Press on Wednesday evening he did not know about the indictment and declined comment.
( h/t: Laffy over at Political Carnival )
Here's what gets me:
Arraignments are scheduled for May 24. The charge is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
The kid who "hacked" Palin's email account potentially get 20yrs for his offense. Does this not sound wrong to anyone but me?
Take a look at how conservatives and Fox"News" approached the Palin incident.
Sean Hannity was even against hacking private information before he was for it.
Of course, conservatives will say that the case involving Obama's student loan records is different due to the fact that no information was shared online. And while that is true, these incidents occurred multiple times up to when Obama had already become President-Elect. Not only that, but these men worked for the Department Of Education and were blatantly misusing government property. One would think the penalty would be pretty stiff for them. Apparently not.
Not to be overtly conspiratorial about this, but one has to question whether this was intended to go beyond just Obama's student loan records. Having a group of nine guys attempting to just find out how much Obama spent on college doesn't seem to make a lot of sense considering all the other aspects of Obama's life that conservatives are going after. I'm sure that this isn't the last we will hear of this story - just don't expect Fox"News" to report on it.