Friday morning, Anthony Weiner, the 7-term congressman from New York who couldn’t seem to keep his namesake in his pants, pleaded guilty in court to a charge of transmitting sexual material to a minor. How much time he will spend in prison depends on his sentencing on September 8th, but it is expected to be around two years, which he will not appeal.
Formerly a liberal firebrand, Weiner went from famous to infamous in 2011 when he sent a racy photo from his Twitter account to a college student in Washington state. At first, Weiner denied the skivvy-clad member in the picture belonged to him, but within just a few weeks, he had resigned from Congress entirely. In the course of revelations, Weiner admitted he had “sexted” with far more than just the woman in the initial scandal. His wife, Huma Abedin, accepted his apology and agreed to stay with him and work on their relationship. More sexting affairs followed, however, and the two separated last August.
But the event that led to this court appearance might be remembered best for another reason: It may have led directly to Donald Trump winning the election.
In his earlier affairs, Weiner had insisted he didn’t want to “waste” federal resources on finding out who had “hacked” his Twitter account. Of course, that was pure deflection in order to keep authorities out of his business. But once his activities involved an underage girl, who went to a tabloid with her story, there was no stopping the feds from getting involved. This led them to seize Weiner’s laptop as evidence. Unfortunately, for some reason, it also contained emails from Hillary Clinton to Weiner’s wife, who was the vice chair of Clinton’s presidential campaign. Once in FBI custody, those emails became a prompt for James Comey to unexpectedly announce to Congress that he was reopening the FBI investigation into all of Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
Comey found nothing additional, and publicly announced that there was still no evidence of wrongdoing in any of Clinton’s emails, but the damage was done. It was mere days before the election, and to hear Clinton tell it, the announcement from Comey sank her chances of winning. Most believe there were many factors that contributed to her loss, but there’s no question that Comey’s involvement was among them. In fact, his testimony about the additional emails ended up being wrong anyway.
So to Sean Hannity and all of the conspiracy theorists out there yapping about Seth Rich, the DNC staffer that right-wing lunatics are claiming was killed by Clinton operatives, I have just one thing to say: Don’t you think she’d have higher priorities?
Featured image via Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images