Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner is finally free after serving 21 months in prison and an additional several months in a halfway house in New York City for sending lewd photos to a minor across state lines, a federal crime.
Weiner walked out of his Manhattan halfway house early Tuesday morning, to a gaggle of reporters.
“It’s good to be out,” he said. “I hope to be able to live a life of integrity and service. I’m glad this chapter of my life is behind me.”
Weiner has been in jail since late 2017, after he pleaded guilty to “one charge of transferring obscene material to a minor,” according to CNN, stemming from a sexting incident — the third such incident for Weiner, who lost both his job in Congress and his campaign to become mayor of New York City because he was unable to resist the urge to court women using private messaging services.
Weiner resigned in disgrace from Congress in 2011, after he was discovered to have engaged in “inappropriate, extramarital relationships with several women he met online” — relationships which involved sending lewd photos of himself to the women using Twitter’s private direct messaging service. After making a mistake and posting one photo publicly, Weiner’s habit of conducting affairs using the social media platform was revealed.
In 2013, after hiding out for two years, Weiner tried to re-enter politics, this time running for mayor of New York City. His campaign was widely considered a “test balloon” for then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s potential 2016 presidential run. The effort allowed Weiner’s wife, close Clinton aide Huma Abedin, to get a sense of donor availability in NYC and compile a list of potential Clinton supporters.
But Weiner eventually ruined that effort, too, sending a series of racy texts to a Democratic aide in Indiana named Sydney Leathers, using the moniker “Carlos Danger.”
Although both incidents were clearly inappropriate and unethical, Weiner escaped criminal prosecution until 2017, when federal agents discovered he had again been texting with a female, but this time, she was a minor in Kentucky, and Weiner’s sexually aggressive texts — which included photos — ran afoul of federal laws against sending salacious material across state lines.
Weiner pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a term of around two years in federal prison. He served 21 months in a minimum-security federal facility in Massachusetts and was then transfered, for the final three months of his sentence, to a halfway house, where he was expected to abide by house rules, find a job, and work on re-entering public life.
Weiner has been mum on his future plans — it certainly wouldn’t be beyond belief for him to make a third run at a political career, even this late in the game — but the New York Post reported last month that Weiner has been shopping around a book proposal, likely a memoir of his life.
No one has bitten.
“Every Simon & Schuster imprint has passed,” a source told the Post. “The project is being repped by the hot downtown boutique agency Foundry Literary + Media — which was behind nonfiction best-sellers by ‘Daily Show’ host Trevor Noah, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and ‘Jersey Shore’ star Vinny Guadagnino.”