We won’t have Anthony Weiner to kick around much longer. On Friday, the former member of Congress admitted in federal court to felony sexting: transferring obscene materials to a minor. In this case, someone Weiner believed to be a 15-year-old girl.
The prosecutors are calling for Weiner to serve 21 to 27 months in federal prison and continue mental health therapy.
Also Friday, Huma Abedin, longtime aide to Hillary Clinton and Weiner’s longtime wife, quietly filed an “Anonymous v. Anonymous” petition for divorce from Weiner. Yet, not anonymously enough, apparently, for the media still caught wind of it. The couple had separated last August, during the presidential campaign.
As the always subtle New York Daily News put it: “Sleazy serial sexter Anthony Weiner, in a single devastating day, pleaded guilty to a felony sex crime mere hours before his long-suffering wife filed to end their crumbling marriage.”
A round of Schadenfreude on the House!
Still, what is most intriguing about the Anthony Weiner Story — the ugly fall and crash — is not Anthony Weiner, himself, but others who stumbled into his morality tale.
Barely six years ago, in 2011, Anthony Weiner was a hard charging, up-and-coming, tough-talking, in-your-face congressman from a New York City district that an incumbent Democrat would be hard-pressed to ever lose. A regular pontificator and scuffler on Cable TV, he was likely one day to be a contender . . . and perhaps the mayor of the Big Apple.
And to boot, Weiner was married to Huma Abedin, arguably Hillary Clinton’s closest aide. Former President Bill Clinton officiated at the Weiner-Abedin nuptial.
Andrew Breibart was still alive then (he passed away the next year) and running the Breitbart website. He and Mr. Weiner crossed paths in May of 2011 when Breitbart received a tip about Weiner sending by Tweet a picture of his underwear-clad crouch to a woman, who was not his wife.
The Tweet was deleted, but not before someone grabbed a screenshot of it — sharing it with Andrew, who then reported on it at Breitbart.com. Weiner claimed his Twitter account had been hacked, but then mysteriously did not seem to want a federal investigation. Weiner, always snippy with people, including reporters, became even snippier.
Finally, after numerous denials by then-Congressman Weiner, a news conference was set up in New York City for him to speak to the allegations. But instead of Weiner showing up to address the throngs of media, none other than Andrew Breitbart was discovered in the crowd, and, as media questions rained down, Breitbart hopped on stage and took the podium.
For better than half an hour, Breitbart demanded an apology from Weiner for lying and suggesting Breitbart had fabricated the story. Breitbart announced he now had additional evidence of inappropriate behavior on Weiner’s part. Breitbart also lambasted much of the mainstream media for partisanship in covering the story, i.e. not questioning Democrat Weiner more aggressively and being quick to distrust and denigrate the conservative Breitbart.com.
Days later, U.S. Rep. Weiner (D-N.Y.) would admit his bad behavior, acknowledge the lies to cover it up and officially resign his congressional seat.
It was both the first fall for Anthony Weiner and a coming-out party for Breitbart as a national media force. Less than a year later, Andrew Breitbart would tragically die. But Breitbart.com would go on to play a larger role — including, again along with Weiner, in the 2016 presidential race.
Two years after leaving Congress in utter disgrace, Anthony Weiner was found still looking for fame, glory and vindication the only way a politician knows — trying to win an election. Weiner, who had once been talked about as a future mayoral candidate, decided to throw his hat into the ring.
Weiner actually started out on top in public opinion polls, but that didn’t last long. A sexting partner, Sydney Leathers, came forward alleging an online sexual relationship with Weiner, which occurred after Weiner had left Congress.A thousand jokes were born of the revelation that Anthony had used the online name “Carlos Danger.”
Anthony and wife, Huma, held a news conference to address the scandal. But Anthony Weiner could not effectively respond to questions, like: “How many online chats have you had with woman that were sexual in nature?”
Proving that life-is-stranger-than-fiction, Weiner made an arrangement with a documentary filmmaker turning the campaign into even more of a soul-crushing reality TV train wreck than it otherwise would have been.
“This is the worst,” moans Weiner on camera, “doing a documentary on my scandal . . .”
And to add insult upon injury, Ms. Leathers later endorsed Christine Quinn, one of Weiner’s opponents, in the mayoral race.
Weiner ended up in fifth place with a mere 5 percent of the vote. Leaving the stage after his concession speech, he flipped reporters the middle finger.
Now that’s a good enough place for this tale of woe to end. But it just won’t end.
Fast-forward to 2016 and what was already an incredibly bizarre presidential election between two candidates with the highest negative ratings among voters in recorded polling. The scandal and previous FBI investigation, then closed, of Clinton’s private email server had helped drive her negatives
As a key advisor to Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin is neck-deep in the Clinton campaign.
Enter Anthony Weiner. A report in the British Daily Mail details a nearly year-long sexting relationship between the “Carlos Danger” of American politics and a 15-year-old North Carolina High School sophomore. She was underage. Weiner is 52 years old.
The FBI launched an investigation and soon had possession of Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer. No doubt, there was much of interest. Most impactful, however, were copies of emails that Hillary Clinton had sent to Weiner’s wife Huma and that somehow had ended up on the laptop that no one wants to be on.
Which caused former-and-just-recently-fired FBI Director James Comey to reopen the Clinton investigation ten days before the election in order to review these emails. And to inform congressional leaders by letter, thus creating a good hunk of media attention to a Clinton scandal.
So, the creepy underwear-bulge texting Weiner played an outsized role in the 2016 presidential contest. Through his dishonest denials, Weiner created a media firestorm that challenged Breitbart, only to see the website vindicated. Andrew Breitbart took advantage, gaining enormous street cred. Five years later, Breitbart editor turned Trump advisor Steve Bannon played a major role in the Trump victory last November.
Then, like a recurring nightmare, Weiner’s criminal behavior with an underage female fatefully produced a major negative story for Mrs. Clinton in the homestretch of the presidential race.
You can’t make this stuff up.