Amid pressure from both sides of the aisle, Anthony Weiner stepped down today, ending a congressional career that spanned more than a decade. In his press conference, he said, “I am here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused. I make this apology to my neighbors and my constituents, but I make it particularly to my wife, Huma.”
Weiner had been at a treatment facility since last weekend and was waiting to make his decision until his wife, Huma Abedin, returned from a trip with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Abedin is a top aide to Mrs. Clinton, who of course went through a similarly public scandal back in the ‘90s.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi had called for Weiner’s resignation in recent days in addition to asking the Ethics Committee to look into his behavior. It’s currently unknown whether the ethics investigation will continue and, moreover, uncertain if any of Weiner’s behavior ran afoul of the House’s Code of Official Conduct. If Weiner did not use government computers or phones to send his objectionable messages, the only charge the committee could bring against Weiner is that he did not “conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.” This would be a rare maneuver, citing a catch-all provision in the Code of Official Conduct that is infrequently used.
Weiner’s messages to a minor in Delaware is another matter altogether. The ex-Congressman admitted to sending private Tweets to a 17-year old in that state but has insisted there was nothing inappropriate about those communications.
In contrast to his questionable digital flirtations with adults, lewd messaging with a minor is a serious crime.
Police are investigating.
- Weinergate: It’s a Scandal, But Is It Illegal? (legallyeasy.rocketlawyer.com)
- Legally Easy Episode 28 – The Curious Case of Anthony Weiner (podcast.rocketlawyer.com)
- Weiner Quits House Seat Over “Mistakes” (nytimes.com)