Anthony Weiner, the former Congressman from New York whose multiple sexting scandals landed him in prison, is a free man today after being released from a halfway house. Weiner told Fox News that it’s “good to be out,” and he looks forward to spending some time with his family.
A Brooklyn native who worked as a staffer for then-Rep. Charles Schumer and then served on New York’s City Council, Weiner was first elected to Congress in 1998 to Schumer’s former House seat.
Known as a strident liberal lawmaker who spoke out for Medicare For All during the Obama-era health care debate, Weiner spent several years as one of Washington’s more eligible bachelors before he married Huma Abedin, a close advisor to Hillary Clinton in 2010.
Weiner’s first sexting scandal took place in 2011 when he sent a sexually explicit message to a woman via Twitter. Weiner first claimed that his account had been hacked, but then admitted in a press conference that he had, in fact, sent such messages to multiple women. After more women came forward, Weiner resigned his seat in Congress.
Two years later, Weiner attempted a political comeback, running for mayor of New York. He was doing well in the polls when his campaign was felled by a second texting scandal when he used the alias “Carlos Danger” to send a series of explicit messages to a woman named Sydney Leathers.
Weiner remained in the race but lost; Leathers used the incident to launch a career as an adult film performer and even showed up at Weiner’s election night party in an attempt to confront him. This was all told in the 2016 documentary film Weiner.
Following reports in 2016 that Weiner had sent a woman an explicit photo while lying next to his young son in bed, Abedin announced that she and Weiner were separating, per The New York Times.
Later that year, per The Daily Mail, Weiner began a texting relationship with a girl who was underage, leading to a criminal investigation and eventually Weiner’s arrest. In 2017, Weiner agreed to a plea bargain in which he pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor, was sentenced to 21 months in prison, and was required to register as a sex offender.
The Weiner scandal’s largest effect, however, may have had little to do with his actual crimes. When Weiner’s laptop was seized during that September 2016 investigation, the FBI had to look at whether the laptop contained any emails related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation. This led to the famous letter from then-FBI director James Comey stating that the email investigation was being re-opened, which many Clinton loyalists blame for their candidate’s loss in the 2016 election.