Anthony Weiner is finally coming clean about his double life as a serial sexter – admitting that he has had online affairs with ‘hundreds of women’ since 2009 and knowingly engaged in at least two explicit video chats with an underage girl.
He also says he should avoid jail time because he became a ‘national pariah’ after the FBI investigation into his sexting prompted the bureau to reopen its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server just days before the presidential election.
Weiner’s attorneys filed a lengthy court memo which was made public in full on Thursday documenting their client’s years as a self-proclaimed ‘sex addict’ and asking a judge for leniency when the former congressman is sentenced for sending obscenity to a minor later this month.
In the memo, Weiner says he should be sentenced to probation – not prison time – because he has already faced severe ‘extrajudicial punishment’ and national disgrace after his case damaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last year.
The former congressman blames leakers in the FBI – and former FBI Director Comey – for injecting his case into the election and causing Weiner and his family extreme duress.
Victim: Weiner sexted this girl when she was 15, sending her explicit messages – now he is admitting that he also had two Skype and one Snapchat sessions with her
Betrayed: Weiner now says that he first started sexting in 2009, with his wife Huma Abedin discovering before the public did.
Court admission: How Weiner spelled out the extent of his sexting in his legal plea to be spared prison
WEINER’S EXCUSES: I SEXTED BECAUSE I WAS DEDICATED TO MY CONSTITUENTS
Anthony Weiner’s lawyers submitted more than 200 pages of documents in their bid to keep him out of prison.
They called his sexting an ‘illness’ and said it grew out of his dedication to his constituents as a congressman.
‘By 2009, Anthony’s national prominence had reached new heights… At the same time, smartphones and the proliferation of social media platforms had begun to transform users’ connectivity and frequency of access to online communications.
‘Anthony – who prided himself on being accessible to his constituents – moved quickly to capitalize on these new technologies, developing a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter, and responding to and engaging with members of the public who reached out to him.
‘Anthony began to exchange texts and other messages with constituents and admirers alike. Some of the admirers were female, validating him not just as a politician, but as a man. It seemed harmless to Anthony…’
‘[Weiner] has already been punished in a meaningful way by the government, just not in a judicially sanctioned manner,’ said the memo.
What was supposed to be a confidential grand jury investigation into a personal offense was leaked by ‘law enforcement sources’ and then improperly injected into the presidential election by the then-FBI Director.’
‘There can be no question that that these improper disclosures exacted significant extrajudicial punishment on Anthony and his family,’ the memo continued. ‘Anthony might once have been a punch line, but he is now — to many in this country — something far worse, as a result of Secretary Clinton’s loss.’
‘While Anthony is responsible for many shameful things in his life, neither he nor his wife should have been asked to bear such blame, for a matter entirely unrelated to this case and the conduct precipitating it.’
Weiner says he has been in a serious treatment program for sex addiction and is working hard to stop his destructive behavior.
The memo also quoted several of his therapists who said he appears to be working hard on treatment and does not seem likely to reoffend.
The former congressman pleaded guilty to sending obscene materials to a 15-year-old girl in May, after DailyMail.com first reported on his sexting relationship with the teenager last September.
Prosecutors have requested that he serve between 21 and 27 months in prison. Weiner’s attorneys counter that he should be sentenced to probation instead.
In the 68-page memo, Weiner’s legal team admits that in early 2016 the former congressman was exchanging thousands of messages a month with ‘dozens’ of women he met online, including at least 1,500 messages with one middle-aged woman over the course of just two months.
The document also acknowledges that he had at least two explicit Skype conversations with the 15-year-old girl in February of 2016, one explicit Snapchat session, and one explicit text exchange.
Sexting for Skype: Weiner posed as T Dog when he messaged the 15-year-old and eventually Skyped her twice. He previously called himself Carlos Danger
Tip of the iceberg: Weiner admits in court documents to sending sexts to hundreds of women since 2009 – with this one being revealed. He also spoke of his love for his son, who appeared in his sext.
Weiner’s attorneys said he continually sexted with women between 2009 and 2016 and did not take therapy seriously at the time, despite the destruction to his political career and his public claims that he was in treatment.
The scale of his sexting means that the images which have emerged – one of him in bed in a state of arousal with his son beside him – hardly qualify as even the tip of the iceberg.
It says his ‘self-destructive compulsion’ was driven by mental illness, including a ‘mixed personality disorder’ that was recently diagnosed by a therapist.
Weiner’s memo also describes the 15-year-old girl as a manipulative fame-seeker – writing that she baited Weiner into exchanging sexual messages with her because she wanted to influence the U.S. presidential election.
It says their relationship started when Weiner was stuck at home in New York during a record blizzard and claims that she pestered him to Skype.
The FBI launched an investigation into Weiner’s communications with the teen after DailyMail.com revealed it last September.
While examining Weiner’s laptop, investigators stumbled over new emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server – prompting FBI Director James Comey to reopen the Clinton email investigation just days before the election.
Weiner argues that the teenager intentionally saved and documented her conversations with him in order to impact the presidential race – a goal she allegedly admitted to federal investigators.
‘[O]ne of her goals in capturing Anthony’s bad behavior had been to influence the outcome of the presidential election,’ said the memo. ‘[T]he immediate, improper disclosure that Anthony was under federal investigation and the subsequent improper injection of this case into the presidential election may well have helped [the 15-year-old] realize that apparent ambition.’
He also blasted investigators for leaking information about his case – and the fact that Clinton’s emails were found on his laptop – which caused him personal turmoil, shunning from political allies, and even led to him receiving a death threat.
He said the ‘improper disclosures’ caused ‘immense pain’ to his family and turned Weiner into a ‘political pariah.’
How it all began: Weiner was contacted by his victim on the night of a record storm in New York City, January 23, 2016. He was ‘laid up’ because of it when she first contacted him
‘[W]hile Anthony was blessed that some in public life have provided letters to the Court in his support at sentencing, many others did not, citing not the offense conduct but Anthony’s status as a political pariah,’ said the memo. ‘These punitive consequences are directly attributable to what the Department of Justice has conceded, at least in part, are improper disclosures relating to this investigation.’
HOW LONG DID HUMA KNOW HIS SECRET?
Weiner’s lawyers say that he started texting in 2009.
They also say Abedin found out and suggest it was before his public disgrace in 2011.
‘Anthony’s wife discovered his secret, and he said he would stop. He didn’t,’ they say.
‘On May 27, 2011, Anthony accidentally posted a suggesting photograph of himself in his underwear, leading to a multi-week tabloid frenzy…’
The memo also blames Comey personally for Weiner’s anguish. It noted that the FBI director claimed under oath to congress last spring that Weiner’s wife, close Clinton aide Huma Abedin, had forwarded ‘hundreds of thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information’ to Weiner.
Weiner’s attorneys said this was an exaggeration because Abedin had actually forwarded a ‘smaller number’ of emails to Weiner with only two that contained classified information.
‘While the FBI quietly corrected this testimony days the damage had already been done, prompting calls to investigate Anthony and his wife that continue to this day,’ said the memo.
The memo also said Weiner had been punished enough by his public humiliation after the news of the scandal broke last year, calling him a ‘walking, talking billboard against sexting with a minor, and would be that even without a federal conviction.’
‘A period of incarceration is not necessary to deter the public from following in Anthony’s footsteps. Simply put, no one wants to be Anthony Weiner, — he is a national pariah,’ said the memo.
‘Since his communications with [the underage girl] have become public, Anthony has been the subject of widespread public flogging and even a death threat in the popular media. Anthony’s former colleagues in government have publicly shunned him, and he is the routine target of late night barbs.’
‘[T]his from a man many once lauded as a bright light of Congress, a possible Mayor of New York, and maybe more, before his all-consuming sexting habit destroyed each possibility, most devastatingly in this final criminal iteration of it.’
Despite the fallout from the scandal, Weiner’s attorneys added that the DailyMail.com story finally gave him the push he needed to take his therapy seriously.
‘The Daily Mail exposé of Anthony’s online communications with JD jolted Anthony in away other scandals had not, and led him for the first time to grapple with the depths of his sickness and to find the strength to treat it,’ said the memo.