Lights Out For Weiner
Democrat Anthony Weiner decides to resign after two weeks of mounting pressure.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 6/16/2011, 7:12 PM / Last Update: 6/16/2011, 7:58 PM
Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner told senior party members Thursday he will resign, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Weiner, who found himself amidst a media firestorm after explicit online messages he traded with a woman other than his wife were revealed, has faced mounting pressure to step down. An announcement is planned later Thursday in New York, sources said..
Weiner informed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Steve Israel, head of the Democrats' re-election committee in the House, of his decision. The much-ridiculed congressman made the call Wdnesday after talking to his wife, State Department official Huma Abedin, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Weiner reached the two party leaders while they attended a congressional picnic at the White House.
Weiner was under pressure from the president, his own party, and his friends to end the public humiliation from disclosure of improper online messages he shared with at least a half-dozen women.
The decision to step down ends, for the moment, the promising political career of the 46-year-old New Yorker who billed himself as "a Democrat who fights." Until the scandal, Weiner was seen as a leading contender in his city's 2013 mayoral contest.
It also relieves the immediate embarrassment Weiner's troubles have been causing the Democracts since conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart published a lewd photo sent from Weiner's Twitter account to a college student in Seattle. Weiner admitted after more than a week of denials that he had sent that photo and other explicit pictures, texts, and inappropriate messages.
The pressure on Weiner to quit peaked Monday when President Barack Obama broke his silence on the issue and told NBC News that Weiner had embarrassed himself and his family. "I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign," Obama said.
House Democrats took no action Tuesday to punish the congressman, but some voiced hope that his wife might persuade him to heed party leaders' call to resign. Pelosi emerged from a closed meeting of the House Democratic caucus at the Capitol to repeat her belief that Weiner should quit.
Prior to the Democrats' meeting Tuesday, some floated the suggestion that they vote to strip him of his committee assignments, or take a more severe step of voting to boot him from the caucus. Neither step was debated or considered at the meeting, lawmakers said.
Shortly before 10 AM on Thursday the few staffers in Weiner's Capitol Hill office turned off the lights and locked the doors behind them as they left.
Tags: Anthony Weiner