I have disagreed with those defending Weiner or opposing his resignation. I could care less about his bizarre fetish with exhibitionist acts. However, he engaged in a pattern of lies that included alleging criminal acts of hacking by others and attacking the media. He is further accused of harassing women with these pictures. I cannot understand the view that a member who showed such utter dishonesty and poor judgment should be forgiven because he is “good for the cause” or a loyal liberal. I agree with the double standard shown in the response of cases like Senator Vitter, but that does not relieve Democrats or liberals of their duty to hold their leaders accountable.
Weiner had two strong legal reasons for resigning. As mentioned in earlier posts, the greatest danger of criminal conduct is his alleged coaching women to lie if contacted by investigators. Yesterday, another woman stepped forward to say that she was pressured to lie by Weiner. Notably, the woman yesterday also said that her efforts to discuss political issues were met by responses from Weiner to get her to engage in sextexting. By resigning Weiner reduces (the admittedly low) chances for a criminal investigation.
Second, Weiner was likely to be investigated for this misconduct and there are risks of claims of false statements as well as the creation of new evidence that could be used against him. This includes possible civil litigation. It also includes possible investigation of Weiner for harassment of women who were contacting him to discuss his work as a congressman. It also includes incidents where Weiner could be charged with using official resources in engaging in this conduct.
By resigning, Weiner shuts down the main threat of investigation that he is facing. The result of that investigation would have likely made it difficult for him to secure a new position — or to come back later and run again as a “healed” individual. The new photos show that this was not a few racy shots but pictures taken from various locations, including the House gym and his office. It also includes claims by women that they tried to get Weiner to discuss his political work and views — not his body parts.