Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) during his press conference yesterday declared that he had not violated his oath of office or violated House rules. But Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.) isn’t so sure. The Post reports:
Soon after Weiner finished speaking, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who he said had urged him to tell the whole truth, called on the House ethics committee to conduct an investigation into his case.
For Weiner, a seven-term congressman who was seen as a leading candidate to become the next mayor of New York, the collapse is all the more stunning in light of the heights he had reached in his party and as a spokesman for its liberal wing. In the aftermath of his mea culpa, Republican leaders mostly stood back and watched the public self-immolation of one of their sharpest antagonists.
His closest allies limited themselves to offering moral support.
Politico reports that the Democratic leadership is not about to let him drag down the rest of his colleagues:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, have called for an investigation into Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) over the series of sexually explicit conversations and lewd photos he exchanged with a half-dozen women during the last several years.
“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 released on Monday night. “I am calling for an Ethics Committee investigation to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred.”
Israel added: “Congressman Anthony Weiner engaged in a deep personal failure and inappropriate behavior that embarrassed himself, his family, and the House. Ultimately, Anthony and his constituents will make a judgment about his future.”
One can imagine that Pelosi was none too pleased with Weiner’s presser and was not about to let bygones be bygones after he refused to resign. (“In a phone conversation with Pelosi and Israel earlier Monday afternoon, Weiner refused to even consider resignation, said Democratic insiders. And he repeated that defiant declaration during his press appearance later that afternoon, even as he admitted engaging in lewd online behavior.”)
The left-wing defense squad that bought into Weiner’s “I’ve been hacked” lie and continued to insist the scandal had nothing to do with his ability to serve has no one to blame but the sleazy congressman and its own propensity to circle the wagons whenever a conservative news outlet (Andrew Breitbart, in this case) gets the goods on one of its own.
As for the press conference, it would have been informative if at least one reporter had questioned Weiner as to why he believed himself fit to serve. Even assuming he broke no law and assuming none of the girls were underage, does he imagine he is capable and worthy of representing his constituents? That’s a question his Democratic colleagues are now forcing him to confront. They could of course just publicly call for him to get lost, but that would require the sort of zero-tolerance judgment that they usually reserve for their political opponents.
UPDATE (9:01 a.m.): According to the TMZ website, Weiner asked a porn star tweet-mate to lie for him. If so, he’s toast. And moreover, he’s seriously deluded if he thought that press conference yesterday would insulate him from this sort of revelation.