| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner wept on Friday as he pleaded responsible to sending sexually express messages to a teenage woman, ending an investigation right into a “sexting” scandal that performed a task in final 12 months’s U.S. presidential election.
Sporting a navy swimsuit, maroon tie and his marriage ceremony band, a tearful Weiner, 52, described his conduct earlier than U.S. District Choose Loretta Preska in New York Metropolis.
“I’ve a illness, however I don’t have an excuse,” Weiner mentioned, apologizing to the 15-year-old woman to whom he despatched sexually express pictures and messages final 12 months.
The cost of transferring obscene materials to a minor carries a most sentence of 10 years in jail, however Weiner is prone to get much less. As a part of his plea settlement, federal prosecutors mentioned they’d take into account a time period between 21 months and 27 months “honest and acceptable.”
Weiner might be sentenced on Sept. eight.
The previous Democratic congressman’s political profession imploded after a collection of scandals involving inappropriate sexual exchanges with girls on-line.
The probe into his exchanges with the teenage woman, nonetheless, additionally helped upend the ultimate days of the 2016 U.S. presidential marketing campaign.
Federal brokers who had seized Weiner’s laptop computer found a batch of emails from Huma Abedin, a senior aide to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.
In consequence, James Comey, then the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, introduced in late October that the company was reviewing the messages to find out whether or not to reopen its investigation into Clinton’s dealing with of official correspondence.
Clinton, who was main in nationwide polls on the time, has blamed her loss to Republican Donald Trump partly on Comey’s announcement, although he mentioned two days earlier than the election in November that the evaluate had uncovered no new proof.
Hours after the courtroom listening to, Abedin filed for divorce, the New York Publish reported, citing courtroom filings. Abedin had introduced her separation from Weiner final summer time after a brand new spherical of express messages emerged that included a picture of Weiner’s crotch as he lay in mattress with their younger son.
A lawyer for Abedin didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the N.Y. Publish report.
The controversy over Clinton’s use of a non-public e-mail server whereas she was U.S. secretary of state dogged her all through the marketing campaign. Trump and different Republicans accused Clinton of endangering nationwide safety by exposing categorized info to potential hacking.
In testimony to Congress two weeks in the past, Comey mentioned he felt “mildly nauseous” on the suggestion his actions could have swayed the election, however added that he had no regrets.
Trump fired Comey days later amid the FBI’s probe into whether or not Trump’s marketing campaign colluded with Russia to defeat Clinton, an allegation the president has vehemently denied.
The investigation into Weiner got here to mild after the Each day Mail, a British newspaper, printed an interview with the North Carolina teen final 12 months.
Weiner, who served elements of New York Metropolis for 12 years within the U.S. Home of Representatives, resigned in 2011 after an express was posted on his Twitter account. He initially claimed his account had been hacked however finally acknowledged he had despatched the picture in addition to inappropriate messages to a number of girls.
Two years later, he introduced a run for New York Metropolis mayor however dropped out of the race when extra express messages grew to become public.
On Friday, Weiner described his repeated transgressions as compulsive habits and mentioned that since final 12 months he has been receiving “intensive” psychological well being therapy.
“These damaging impulses introduced nice devastation to household and buddies, and destroyed my life’s dream of public service,” Weiner mentioned. “And but I remained in denial, even because the world round me fell aside.”
(Aditional reporting and writing by Joseph Ax; Enhancing by Daniel Wallis and Jeffrey Benkoe)