Disgraced Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner appeared in a Manhattan court today to plead guilty to a charge of transferring obscene material to a minor, reports Sky News.
He reportedly cried in court while making the plea.
The New York Times, citing two anonymous sources, states that Weiner has already surrendered to the FBI. The bureau has been investigating allegations that Weiner had been sexting a 15-year-old North Carolina girl.
“The plea covers conduct by Mr. Weiner from January through March of last year,” says the outlet, citing an unidentified source. He will likely end up registering as a sex offender although that has not yet been decreed, according to the source.
Weiner, seen with his wife (Clinton aide Huma Abedin), served as a New York Congressman from 1999 to 2011. An initial sexting scandal forced him to resign. (Image via The Chicago Tribune, Getty)
The New York Times states that Weiner could see between zero and 10 years behind bars, depending on a judge’s decision.
According to WRAL, Weiner has agreed not to appeal any sentence between 21 months and 27 months.
New York Daily News reports that Weiner’s lawyers had been communicating with federal authorities to help their client avoid charges of child pornography production.
That was related to his requests for the girl to film herself performing illicit acts.
It is not clear if today’s guilty plea is part of a plea deal that would see him excused from that charge. Child pornography production carries a mandatory 15-year minimum sentence.
The child sexting scandal surrounding Anthony Weiner emerged in September of 2016 when The Daily Mail published numerous screenshots of messages Weiner sent his victim.
At the time, the outlet reported that “Anthony Weiner carried on a months-long online sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl during which she claims he asked her to dress up in ‘school-girl’ outfits for him on a video messaging application and pressed her to engage in ‘rape fantasies.'”
The Daily Mail conducted an interview with the 15-year-old girl detailing how her relationship with Weiner allegedly began and progressed.
While he acknowledged communicating with the 15-year-old girl, he said, “while I have provided the Daily Mail with information showing that I have likely been the subject of a hoax, I have no one to blame but me for putting myself in that position. I am sorry.”
Federal authorities ultimately seized Anthony Weiner’s electronic devices as part of their investigation.
As a result, they discovered emails from Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, that appeared to suggest overlap between the Weiner probe and the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Then-FBI Director James Comey later announced the reopening of the Hillary Clinton probe – a move many, including Clinton herself, argue cost the Democratic candidate the election.
The FBI later announced that the emails contained nothing groundbreaking that would lead to charges against Hillary Clinton. Still, the Democratic Candidate blames the decision to announce the investigation’s reopening – all thanks to Weiner – for her election loss in part.