Rep. Anthony Weiner lost the support of the leader of his party when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced on Monday that, “I am calling for an Ethics Committee investigation to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred.”
Mrs. Pelosi threw Mr. Weiner under the bus just hours after the New York Democrat publicly admitted that he lied about sending the photo of his bulging underwear to a college student on Twitter. Mr. Weiner then confessed to exposing himself on every technological medium available. There should be no room for a man of such low character and poor judgment in Congress.
“Over the past few years, I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email and occasionally on the phone with women I had met online,” he said in a scratchy voice.
The wily eight-term congressman refused to resign his office, claiming that he did not break any rules or laws because he he didn’t use any government resources for his sexual predator actions. “I don’t believe that I used any government resources,” he said. Mr. Weiner also claimed, “my Blackberry is not a government Blackberry. My home computer is usually where I did these things.”
Mr. Weiner, a member of Minority Leader Pelosi’s leadership team, worked side-by-side with her on the House floor last week as if all was normal. On Monday, he said he spoke to the House Democratic leader before the press conference and she said “to be truthful” and to “say what you know.”
The House Ethics Committee, which oversees internal investigations of fellow members of Congress, also hasn’t said if it has or has not opened an investigation. The committee most recently censured Rep. Charlie Rangel, New York Democrat, for tax evasion and campaign violations, among other charges. House Ethics Committee’s role is based on the Constitution, which states (Article I, Section 5) that Congress may “punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds expel a Member.”
Although Mr. Weiner claims to have not used any taxpayer funded resources for his sexual peccadilloes, he has lied long enough that the Ethics Committee will need to investigate his office computer, phone records and Blackberry. The committee rules are based on the Code of Official Conduct for the House. The first rule is that a member, “shall conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.” Mr. Weiner sending sexual photos of himself and highly charged sexting message to strangers clearly violates this rule.
The Office of Congressional Ethics – which was begun under then-Speaker Pelosi to allow for outside groups to file complaints about Members of Congress – would not respond if it was investigating Mr. Weiner.
Perhaps if Mr. Weiner had admitted immediately to sending the Tweet, the onetime New York mayoral candidate might have come out of this, but the lying and deceit make a clean getaway impossible now. Since the Twitter photo was uncovered by Andrew Brietbart a little over a week ago, Mr. Weiner has held repeated press conferences to openly lie to cover up for the mess.
“I have not been honest with myself, my family, my constituents, my friends and supporters and the media,” he finally admitted on Monday. Over the past week, Mr. Weiner’s aggressive defense included the lies along with making lewd jokes to female reporters; calling a reporter a “jackass” for asking him if he sent the photo; referring to the sex scandal as nothing more than “spam”; and blaming conservatives for using the Twitter photo as a political tool— “as a prank, intended to derail me or distract me.”
But by Monday, his only excuse was to say, “I lied because I was ashamed of what I had done and didn’t want to get caught.” He didn’t want to get caught sending a photo of his crotch to a college student, and now he doesn’t want to accept the consequences.
Mr. Weiner is out for himself and has shown no regard for his constituents or the duty of his public office. From his embattled stance, it seems that the only way to force him out of office is for the Pelosi- launched ethics investigation to determine what he has lied about and what rules and possible laws he has broken. If he had any decency, he would resign.