Early Friday morning, former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner surrendered himself to FBI agents and will appear before a federal judge later this afternoon. There, he will plead guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor, multiple news outlets report.
Last September, The Daily Mail reported that Weiner, 51, had been sexting a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina for months, sending explicit texts, asking her to dress up in revealing outfits and to indulge in rape fantasies. During the investigation of the illicit texts, the FBI found emails between Weiner and his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. This discovery prompted then-FBI director James Comey to announce in late October that he was re-opening the investigation into Clinton’s emails. Clinton has said that Comey’s announcement was part of why she lost the election.
Although the sexting went on for months, Weiner faces only a single charge, with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A much longer lasting punishment: Weiner will likely have to register as a sex offender, according to The New York Times, barring him from going within 300 feet of schools, public parks and any facility “devoted to the use, care or supervision of minors.” Weiner was under a separate investigation from the Administration for Children’s Services after sending a lewd photo of himself to a woman where his son is in the frame.
Hopefully, this is the long-awaited end to the public life of a profoundly sick idiot whose boundless, pathological disregard for his family and his career was matched in scale only by the seemingly endless void where his morals and common sense should have been. Weiner spent years trapping Huma (and, thanks to obsessive media coverage, all of us) in a quagmire of odious scandals. He was caught sexting, repeatedly, apologized repeatedly, and then was caught doing something even worse, only to apologize and begin the whole bullshit cycle over again. Maybe getting hit with federal charges and being outed as a sex offender means Weiner can finally drop his dangerous, humiliating routine.