- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner is facing the real possibility of child-pornography charges and his lawyers are trying to arrange a plea bargain to avoid that, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Journal said that FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan has the once-rising Democratic lawmaker’s laptop and cellphone, which have evidence of sexually explicit exchanges with a 15-year-old girl.

“Attorneys for Mr. Weiner have had discussions with federal prosecutors in Manhattan in hopes of dissuading them from bringing charges, or at least from bringing the most serious one: production of child pornography, which carries a 15-year mandatory minimum prison sentence upon conviction,” the Journal wrote.

Citing “some of the people familiar with the case,” the Journal said the “production” charge relates to Mr. Weiner asking the teenager to send him explicit images of herself.

Mr. Weiner could also face receipt and possession charges, but their mandatory-minimum sentences are much less than the 15-year term that being convicted of producing child pornography brings.

Mr. Weiner was once considered the future of the Democratic party, until his habit of sexting and sending explicit photos first forced him to resign from Congress and then, in a wholly later series of texts, torpedoed his run for mayor of New York.

He was formerly married to Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, and the pair were considered a Democratic power couple who could reach the heights that the Clintons had.

According to reports, the FBI’s investigation of the child-porn case turned up evidence of Clinton emails that hadn’t been vetted or seen when FBI Director James Comey had earlier declined to prosecute Mrs. Clinton over her email server and mishandling of classified information.

The Weiner-related revelations forced the FBI to reopen the case and Mr. Comey to notify Congress he had done so just two weeks before the presidential election. Many Democrats, including reportedly the Clintons themselves, blame Mr. Comey for her defeat by Republican businessman Donald Trump.

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