Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign over sexting scandal

WASHINGTON — Rep. Anthony Weiner intends to resign his seat in Congress after a two-week scandal spawned by lewd and even X-rated photos the New York lawmaker took of himself and sent online to numerous women, relieved Democratic officials said Thursday.
ANDREW MIGA,DAVID ESPO,Associated Press Published: June 16, 2011
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WASHINGTON — Rep. Anthony Weiner intends to resign his seat in Congress after a two-week scandal spawned by lewd and even X-rated photos the New York lawmaker took of himself and sent online to numerous women, relieved Democratic officials said Thursday.

"It's my understanding that later in the day he will have a news conference," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Weiner, 46, has been at a treatment facility at an undisclosed location since last weekend. He has not been seen in public since telling reporters on Saturday morning he intended to return to work.

One official said Weiner telephoned Pelosi and Rep. Steve Israel of New York, the head of the party campaign committee, on Wednesday evening to tell them of his plans to quit.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the private nature of the conversations.

Weiner's decision to give up his House seat marks the end of a scandal without the sex — an event that resulted from the brash New Yorker's use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

It also signals an ignominious pause if not an end in a once-promising political career. Weiner ran for New York mayor in 2005, and had talked of seeking the office again.

He at first denied having sent any inappropriate photos, then recanted in a remarkable news conference 10 days ago at which he admitted having exchanged inappropriate messages with several women.

His confession triggered a tabloid-style frenzy in print and online that only grew more pronounced a few days later when an X-rated photo of the 46-year-old lawmaker surfaced on a website.

After initially calling for a House ethics committee investigation, Pelosi dramatically ramped up the pressure on Saturday when she joined with Israel and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, leader of the Democratic National Committee, in calling on Weiner to step down.

Within hours, Weiner disclosed his plans to enter treatment, and Pelosi's aides made it known that did not negate her demand for a resignation.

Officials said Pelosi, Israel and other party leaders had concluded the media focus on Weiner was complicating the Democrats' efforts to position themselves for the 2012 elections.

President Barack Obama added to the pressure on Monday, saying it he were in Weiner's situation, he would step down.

Several officials have said in recent days that Weiner was reluctant to make any decision about his career without speaking with his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who had been overseas since shortly after the scandal broke. The trip ended Tuesday night.

Abedin is pregnant with the couple's first child.

Weiner's outspoken, in-your-face style cheered liberal supporters and angered conservatives.



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