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The Journal Gazette

  • In this July 24, 2013, file photo, former Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner leaves his apartment building in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Friday, May 19, 2017 10:05 am

Ex-congressman Anthony Weiner to plead guilty in sexting case

LARRY NEUMEISTER and TOM HAYS | Associated Press

NEW YORK – Former congressman Anthony Weiner, whose penchant for sexting strangers online ended his political career and led to an investigation that upended the presidential race, will appear in federal court Friday to plead guilty to charges in connection with his online communications with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, officials said.

A law enforcement official said Weiner has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of transferring obscene material to a minor.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the criminal charges had yet to be filed publicly with the court.

Weiner was already in federal custody ahead of the court hearing, which was scheduled for at 11 a.m.

The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan confirmed the court appearance but declined to immediately release additional details about the charges against the Democrat.

The FBI began investigating Weiner in September after the North Carolina girl told a tabloid news site, the Daily Mail, that she and the disgraced former politician had exchanged lewd messages for several months.

She also accused him of asking her to undress on camera.

The investigation led FBI agents to seize his laptop computer, which led to the discovery of a new cache of emails that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had sent to Huma Abedin, Weiner's wife.

In October, just days before the election, FBI director James Comey stunned the country by announcing that his agency was reopening its closed investigation into Clinton's handling of State Department business on a private email server so it could analyze the newly discovered correspondence.

That inquiry was brief. Comey announced shortly before the election that the new emails contained nothing to change his view that Clinton could not be charged with a crime. But Clinton partly blamed her election loss to Republican Donald Trump on Comey's announcement.

Weiner's lawyer, Arlo Devlin Brown, didn't immediately return a message Friday.