Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, and his wife, close Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, are pleading with a federal judge in New York, asking that she not send Weiner to prison for sexting a teenager.
Weiner resigned from office after it came to light he'd been sending sexually explicit Twitter DMs to young female supporters, and was forced to abort his campaign for mayor of New York after he engaged in a social media flirtation (to put it mildly) with a Midwestern Democratic operative named Sydney Leathers.
But he's facing up to ten years in prison this week after pleading guilty to sending obscene material to a minor, a 15-year-old North Carolina girl who says Weiner contacted her over social media and both sent and requested naked photos. As part of his plea deal, federal prosecutors suggested the judge sentence Weiner to a jail term of 21 to 27 months.
In a set of twin filings Thursday morning, Weiner, his lawyers, and his wife Huma, all begged the court for leniency. According to the documents, Weiner and his lawyers claim he has a "deep sickness" that requires constant observation and treatment, and that Weiner does not suffer from an “abnormal sexual interest in teenagers," just an abnormal sexual interest in, well, everyone. He says he responded to the teenager as a "weak man" and believed his back-and-forth with the girl was just "internet fantasy."
His lawyers also claimed that Weiner has made "remarkable progress" in the last year, after undergoing treatment for sexual addiction, and that an extended jail sentence would interrupt his personal growth.
In her own letter, which is largely redacted, Abedin also asked for Weiner's sentence to be "as small as possible."
"I am writing regarding the sentencing for Anthony Weiner, my husband, from whom I have filed for divorce," Huma's letter says. "I hope the Court will take [our son] into consideration as it weighs all it has to in considering Anthony's sentence. As would any parent, if there has to be a negative impact, I would like it to be as small as possible."
She adds that her note is "not a letter I ever imagined I would write," but that her primary concern is her son, Jordan, whom she shares with Weiner. "However, as a mother, I have always done and will do anything I think will help him be as safe, happy, healthy, and complete as possible."
The Judge's office has reportedly received several other letters, including personal notes from Weiner's mother and brother.
Weiner will be sentenced on September 25.