Updated 7:34 p.m.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Monday for the House ethics committee to investigate whether Rep. Anthony Weiner violated any of the chamber’s rules.
Pelosi said she wanted a determination as to whether “any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred.”
Her action came shortly after the New York Democrat acknowledged to reporters that he had sent a lewd photo from his Twitter account and had conducted “inappropriate” online relationships with at least six women.
“I am deeply disappointed and saddened about this situation; for Anthony’s wife, Huma, his family, his staff and his constituents,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Weiner said Monday night that he would “welcome and will fully cooperate” with an ethics committee investigation.
“I am deeply sorry to my family, staff and constituents,” he said in a statement.
Republicans immediately sought to put Democrats on the defensive in the wake of Weiner’s admission.
“It’s time for Democratic leadership to explain why Congressman Weiner’s actions never aroused any suspicion, and why they rushed to his defense while so many Americans were shocked and confused by his bizarre and disturbing behavior,” said Paul Lindsay, communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Before Weiner’s news conference, the National Republican Senatorial Committee also took aim at Democratic leaders — namely, Sen. Charles E. Schumer — for previously defending his New York colleague.
“Given Senator Schumer’s emphatic statement last week that he was ‘virtually certain’ his protege ‘had nothing to do’ with the recent lewd tweet sent to a 21 year old college student, his current silence over these most recent allegations is notable,” said Brian Walsh, communications director for the NRSC. “Was this yet another instance where Chuck Schumer rushed out to the press armed with less than all the facts on an issue? . . . We look forward to hearing from New York’s media-friendly senior Senator in the hours ahead.”
In a statement released Monday night, Schumer said, “I am deeply pained and saddened by today’s news. By fully explaining himself, apologizing to all he hurt and taking full responsibility for his wrongful actions, Anthony did the right thing. He remains a talented and committed public servant, and I pray he and his family can get through these difficult times.”
And Rep. Steve Israel, another New York Democrat who serves as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, echoed Pelosi’s call for an investigation into Weiner’s conduct.
“Congressman Anthony Weiner engaged in a deep personal failure and inappropriate behavior that embarrassed himself, his family, and the House,” Israel said in a statement. “Ultimately, Anthony and his constituents will make a judgment about his future. To remove all remaining doubt about this situation, I agree with Leader Pelosi’s request that the House Ethics Committee use its authority to begin an investigation.”