Disgraced politician Anthony Weiner was sentenced to nearly two years in prison on Monday for sexting with a teenager from North Carolina, capping off the tumultuous tale of Carlos Danger with a stay behind bars that many have argued is far too light for the crime.
Weiner was no stranger to controversy: his congressional seat, his bid to become mayor of New York City, his strained marriage, and potentially even Hillary Clintonâ€™s presidential campaign were all tarred in scandal thanks to Weinerâ€™s inability to stop exchanging lewd photos and messages with women he met online.
â€śI acted not only unlawfully but immorally, and if I had done the right thing, I would not be standing before you today,â€ť a weeping Weiner told the judge. â€śThe prosecutors are skeptical that I have truly changed and I donâ€™t blame them. I repeatedly acted in an obviously destructive way when I was caught.â€ť
News of Weinerâ€™s salacious relationship with the teenage girl first broke in September 2016. With the presidential election looming just weeks away, the FBI discovered a trove of emails on Weinerâ€™s laptop belonging to Clinton confidant Huma Abedin when they went searching for evidence of the sexting scandal.
That discovery led then-FBI Director James Comey to re-open the inquiry into Clintonâ€™s use of a private email server during her tenure as U.S. secretary of state. Clinton has long blamed Comeyâ€™s decision as one of the key reasons why she lost the election to Donald Trump despite strong polling numbers.
While Judge Denise L. Cote noted that Weinerâ€™s offense was â€śa serious crime that deserves serious punishment,â€ť she sided with the defenseâ€™s argument that Weiner was finally undergoing effective treatment for sex addiction. He was handed the minimum recommended sentence for the crime, as well as a $10,000 fine, and must surrender on November 6.
Weinerâ€™s lawyers had requested probation, citing their clientâ€™s â€śremarkable progressâ€ť in treating his mental health problems, but federal prosecutors lambasted the request.
â€śAlthough the defendantâ€™s self-destructive path from United States congressman to felon is indisputably sad, his crime is serious and his demonstrated need for deterrence is real,â€ť wrote prosecutors Amanda Kramer and Stephanie Lake.