Democrats left Rep. Anthony Weiner dangling yesterday in the face of mounting pressure from Republicans to resign, following his bombshell admission that he lied about sending racy photos of himself to women online.
“I wish there was some way I could defend him, but I can’t,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters.
“We do not need an investigation to know he lied and acted inappropriately — we need a resignation,” said GOP chairman Reince Priebus, referring to a request from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi for the ethics committee to investigate.
Yesterday, Weiner declined to comment as he left his district office in Kew Gardens. On Monday, the seven-term Congressman said he had “not violated any law or rules of the House” and would not resign.
It is unclear whether he used government equipment for his lurid interactions with six women during the past three years, Weiner himself has stated. One of the women corresponding with the married congressman said she received a call from his office.
Political observers, meanwhile, said that Pelosi’s request for a probe may be a prelude to pressuring him to quit. It was unclear when the committee would begin on the case.
Democratic strategist James Carville told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the worse things look for Weiner, the more his future looks “iffy.”
“He’s not a particularly popular guy in the caucus,” Carville said.
Next year is important because the White House is up for grabs.
“If it does seem [Weiner] hasn’t told the full story, the leaders will encourage him not to be a distraction. There’ll be a lot of behind-the-scenes Democrats asking him to reconsider his place in the party,” said Christina Greer, Fordham University political science professor.
However, Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf said Weiner won’t back down without a fight, and since it appears he hasn’t broken any laws, “it’s ultimately his decision what to do.”
There’s also a chance state legislators will decide by next year how to redraw New York’s electoral boundaries based on census figures, which could result in district elimination.
Lawmakers could reconfigure Weiner’s district, which straddles Brooklyn and Queens, so he’d lose out anyway, political analysts said.
(with Marc Beja)
Women of Weinergate
Following Rep. Anthony Weiner’s bombshell confession to having online affairs with at least six women during the past three years, details are now emerging about what allegedly went on during these digital trysts. Weiner has said he never met any of the women in person, but now they’re sharing their version of the events.
A porn star, she often blogged about her fantasies with the congressman, reports said. She claims Weiner tried to coach her on how to handle the press; he has had no comment.
This 26-year-old single Texas mother gave blogger Andrew Breitbart the shirtless photos of Weiner that likely forced the confession. Reports say she gave Breitbart a nude frontal photo of Weiner, which has not been published.
A 40-year-old Las Vegas blackjack dealer, Weiss claims to have had phone sex with Weiner while he was using a congressional line. Reports say Weiner talked about flying to Nevada for a rendezvous but never went through with it.
The 21-year-old Seattle college student at the center of Weinergate, Cordova was the intended recipient of the infamous crotch shot. She denies having any previous inappropriate contact with Weiner. (amNY)