Scandal

Weiner Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) “has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting with a 15-year-old girl in a case that may have cost Hillary Clinton’s the presidency,” the AP reports.

“As his sentence was announced Monday, the former Democratic congressman from New York dropped his head into his hand and wept, then stared straight ahead. After the hearing ended and Judge Denise Cote left the bench, he sat in his seat for several minutes, continuing to cry.”

“Weiner was also fined $10,000. After his sentence is served, he must undergo internet monitoring and must have no contact with his victim. He must also enroll in a sex-offender treatment program.”

Prosecutors Want 2-Year Prison Sentence for Weiner

CNN: “In their sentencing memorandum prosecutors are seeking 21-27 months imprisonment for Wiener, the former US congressman and estranged husband of Hillary Clinton’s former adviser Huma Abedin… Weiner, 53, pleaded guilty this May in New York’s Federal District Court to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.”

Prosecutors back up their request by stating: “Weiner, a grown man, a father, and a former lawmaker, willfully and knowingly asked a 15-year old girl to display her body and engage in sexually explicit conduct for him online.”

Weiner Asks for Leniency In Sexting Case

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), “whose career and personal life were wrecked in a series of sexting scandals, blamed a ‘deep sickness’ combined with the ‘profit-seeking curiosity’ of his 15-year-old victim for his legal troubles, as he asked a judge for leniency when he’s sentenced later this month,” Bloomberg reports.

The New York Times quoted Weiner saying, “My continued acting out over years crushed the aspirations of my wife and ruined our marriage.”  He added that his young son “will forever have to answer questions about the public and private failings of his father.”

Worse than Whitewater?

David Brooks: “In retrospect Whitewater seems overblown. And yet it has to be confessed that, at least so far, the Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.”

“There may be a giant revelation still to come. But as the Trump-Russia story has evolved, it is striking how little evidence there is that any underlying crime occurred — that there was any actual collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russians. Everything seems to be leaking out of this administration, but so far the leaks about actual collusion are meager.”

Also important: “The politics of scandal drives a wedge through society. Political elites get swept up in the scandals. Most voters don’t really care.”

Hastert Faces New Sex Abuse Accusations

Less than three months before former Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-IL) scheduled release from prison, “a new accuser has come forward with allegations saying he was sodomized by Hastert decades ago,” the Chicago Tribune reports.

“The lawsuit comes nearly two years after an explosive indictment into secret hush-money payments brought down Hastert, a local coaching legend who became one of the country’s most powerful politicians. Federal prosecutors said the former U.S. House speaker touched at least five male students when he was a Yorkville High School coach from 1965 to 1981.”

McCain Walks Back Watergate Comparison

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) walked back earlier comments that the controversy surrounding investigations into potential collusion between associates of President Trump and the Russian government had reached “Watergate size and scale,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Said McCain: “Now the question is, how is it handled? Is it handled the way Watergate was where it’s drip, drip, drip, every day more, or do we handle it like the—like Ronald Reagan handled Iran Contra? It was a scandal. He fired people. He went on national television and said, we made mistakes, we did wrong and we’re not going to do it again and the American people let him move forward.”

Weiner Will Plead Guilty In Sexting Scandal

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), whose “sexting” scandals ended his political career and embroiled him in a tumultuous FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton before the election, is to appear in a federal courtroom to enter a guilty plea, the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Weiner will plead guilty to a single charge of transferring obscene material to a minor, pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan… Mr. Weiner surrendered to the F.B.I. early Friday morning.”

“A likely result of the plea is that Mr. Weiner would end up as a registered sex offender… The charge carries a potential sentence of between zero and 10 years in prison, meaning Mr. Weiner could avoid prison. The ultimate sentence would be determined by a judge.”

Even The Biggest Scandals Can’t Kill Party Loyalty

FiveThirtyEight: “We went back and looked at key congressional votes during three relatively recent periods in which a president was accused of wrongdoing: Watergate (Richard Nixon), Iran-contra (Ronald Reagan) and the Monica Lewinsky scandal (Bill Clinton). Two trends stick out. First, partisanship still matters. And in a big way. Second, when defections do come, they’re more likely to come from the centrist wing of a party.”

“These were three of the biggest scandals in modern American history, and party loyalty stayed strong almost through the end of each.”

Ex-Christie Aides Get Prison Time for Bridgegate

“Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority who became caught up in the bizarre scheme of political retribution that became known as Bridgegate, was sentenced Wednesday to 24 months in prison,” the Newark Star Ledger reports.

Said Baroni: “I regret, more than anything, that I allowed myself to get caught up in this.”

“Bridget Anne Kelly, a former top aide to the governor whose “time for some traffic problems” email became a focal point of the Bridgegate investigation, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.”

Huma Abedin Gives Marriage Another Try

New York Post: “After years of public humiliation by her sext-a-holic husband, Anthony Weiner, 40-year-old Abedin finally separated from the former congressman in August, one day after The Post reported that he had sent yet another explicit photo to a woman — this one showing his toddler son asleep beside him.”

“But sources tell The Post that Hillary Clinton’s righthand woman is now giving the marriage another try.”

Sometimes the Smoke Is the Fire

Mike Allen: “I was chatting with a smart Republican about the White House’s Russia issues, and he said: ‘This is the rare case where the smoke IS the fire.’ What he meant is that even if the White House wound up being right that there’s no ‘there’ there (harder to see, with each day’s revelations), the warning signs and botched reactions and mounting questions have themselves become huge problems for the President.”

“So many of the players — by slow-rolling, obscuring or trashing the facts — have made it LOOK like they have something to hide.”

“Republicans close to the White House said events seem to be moving from the Distraction Zone to the Danger Zone. Democrats see that the scandal and investigative machinery that was used against them in the Clinton administration can now be cranked up to hobble this president, just as he heads into the months when he needs to be putting legislative points on the board.”

Carl Bernstein Smells a Cover Up

Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein told CNN the Trump administration is trying to cover up its ties to Russia.

Said Bernstein: “There has been a real attempt to stonewall the press, to stonewall the FBI to stonewall congressional investigators. That’s what we know so far from people around the Trump campaign, where this goes and the seriousness of it we don’t know in terms of the ultimate disposition and what all the facts are.”

He added: “In this instance what we are finding out is that there appears to be some attempt somewhere to cover up what has occurred and we are trying to penetrate that cover up. Whether or not the cover up involves those closest to the President of the United States, independent operators, former campaign aides, all of that will be determined.”