Weiner’s Online Sexploits |Put Him in Feds’ Sights

     MANHATTAN (CN) — Anthony Weiner, the exhibitionist former politician also known by his amorous, shirtless, online alter-ego “Carlos Danger,” may finally have gotten himself into a perilous situation.
     Two days after a British tabloid reported that Weiner sent sexually violent messages to a 15-year-old girl, federal and local authorities from North Carolina to New York have confirmed probes against the would-be mayor of Gotham.
     “U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said her office is reviewing all materials relevant to the matter,” said the press office for federal prosecutors in the Western District of North Carolina.
     Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, which is where Weiner lives, stayed mum about their own investigation, except for sources whispering about it in the ear of CNN.
     The New York City Police Department, however, went on the record.
     “Detectives are looking into the incident,” a spokesman wrote in an email.
     After years of Weiner’s ever-more-public self-disgrace, the questions on the lips of everyone who can stomach asking about it are: How has it come to this, and how has the political machine churned out this latest scandal in an election year?
     Then a New York congressman, Weiner’s career as one of the House’s most pugnacious, progressive Democrats came crashing down in 2011 when he mistakenly fired off a Tweet of himself wearing underwear in a state of arousal. He tried to stage an unexpected comeback in the 2013 New York City mayoral elections, when his old compulsions struck again.
     His poll numbers plummeted as a new batch of racy photos and messages to women who were not his wife — Huma Abedin, a top Hillary Clinton aide — dominated his campaign coverage.
     Weiner had given filmmakers unfettered access to record his spectacular fall in his eponymous documentary, which unexpectedly charmed audiences through the subject’s candid reflections on his failings and how his unfortunate surname shaped his image.
     But the late-night TV punchlines turned sour as fresh tabloid revelations — in New York and London newspapers owned Republican kingmaker Rupert Murdoch — took a darker turn.
     In August, The New York Post published sexts that Weiner sent to a stranger, accompanied by a photograph of himself, again in his underwear, texting languidly on his bed next to his toddler son. Days later, Weiner’s marriage fell apart, and Child Protective Services confirmed that the agency was looking into those messages.
     Rock bottom arrived on Wednesday, when the Daily Mail reported that the 54-year-old engaged in “rape fantasies” with a girl he knew to be underage, whom he reportedly encouraged to wear school-girl uniforms. The paper said that Weiner did not deny the authenticity of the messages.
     “While I have provided the Daily Mail with information showing that I have likely been the subject of a hoax, I have no one to blame but me for putting myself in this position,” he reportedly told the tabloid.
     The tenuous connection of the sordid affair to the Clinton campaign through her top aide has been a boon to Republicans, and their standard-bearer Donald Trump has been eager to use the development as a cudgel.
     “The announcement by the FBI and New York Police Department that they are investigating close Clinton ally Anthony Weiner’s inappropriate relationship with an under-aged female is extremely disturbing,” Trump spokeswoman Jessica Ditto wrote in a statement. “The Clinton campaign should immediately return all campaign contributions from Weiner. America has had enough of the sleaze that is Clinton, Inc.”
     Weiner has donated $550 to the Clinton campaign, but the Washington Post noted that Trump also has contributed to Weiner’s congressional campaigns in the past.
     Meanwhile, Trump himself has been hit with a lawsuit accusing him of a “savage sexual attack” against a 13-year-old girl, who dismissed her initial Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit and promised to re-file a new one with an additional witness.
     Alan Garten, executive vice president and general counsel for the Trump Organization, told Courthouse News on Thursday that the allegations are “completely frivolous” and “appear to be politically motivated.”
     Garten also threatened to sanction the lawyer of the now-grown woman who brought it.
     The Clinton campaign, for its part, declined to dive into the muck. It did not respond to an email request for comment on the anticipated lawsuit against Trump, or Trump’s comments about Weiner, by press time.

%d bloggers like this: