Posted on | May 30, 2011 | 103 Comments
New York Rep. Anthony Weiner has retained an attorney to advise him “what civil or criminal actions should be taken” after a lewd picture was sent from his Twitter account.
Weiner, who has represented part of New York City since 1998, says online hacking led to a close-up shot of a man’s underwear being sent from his official Twitter account Saturday night.
(Get your facts straight, guys: It was Friday night.)
Dave Arnold, a spokesman for Weiner, said the Congressman’s staff is “loathe to treat” this incident as more than a prank “but we are relying on professional advice.”
“At a time when the GOP is playing games with the debt limit, a member of the Supreme Court is refusing to recuse himself from matters he has a financial interest in, and middle class incomes are stagnant, many want to change the subject,” Weiner said in a statement emailed to POLITICO by his office. “I don’t. This was a prank, and a silly one. I’m focused on my work.”
Weiner’s office did not answer specific questions about the photograph, whether he has contacted authorities or the Seattle woman who received the photograph. He has said that his Facebook was hacked and if his Twitter had the same password, that too could be vulnerable.
So (a) Weiner himself is not speaking, but issuing statements through his spokesman, and (b) his office “did not answer specific questions.”
Drew M. at Ace of Spades HQ has further commentary. Looks like Ace picked the wrong time to get weinered-out.
It remains to be seen what type of official investigation will ensue, if any, into the allegations Weiner has made that his Facebook and Twitter accounts were hacked. The FBI and Capitol Hill police have not responded to TheDC’s requests for comment or clarification, but, seeing as Weiner is a member of Congress, he has access to highly sensitive information that may have been compromised during a potential hack.
The key point about Weiner’s retaining counsel and making noises about “civil or criminal actions” is that it permits the congressman to employ the old “ongoing legal proceedings” excuse not to talk about the case. Anyone who remembers the Clinton administration will be familiar with this tactic: “Oh, well, we’re exploring our legal options and aren’t at liberty to discuss an ongoing investigation.”
Meanwhile, Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit demonstrates that Gennette Cordova was one dot in a pattern of Weiner’s online behavior. It is unfortunate that Jim decided to include the name and photo of the teenage girl I’d mentioned earlier. But that’s one of the liabilities of the online world: Once it’s on the Internet, it’s hard to hide it.
More at Memeorandum.
UPDATE II: Linked at American Power — thanks!
UPDATE III: “Call the police. That will be $1,000.”
UPDATE IV: This story now has its own Memeorandum thread.
Alana Goodman writes at Commentary: “Weiner Investigation Would Benefit All Parties Involved.”
UPDATE V: Linked at The Lonely Conservative — thanks!
UPDATE VI: Publius at Big Government:
The latest statement from Rep. Anthony Weiner’s spokesman on the Weinergate saga makes a subtle but perhaps important rhetorical shift.
Apparently, Weiner’s office no longer uses the word “hack”; it now refers to the incident, in which a link to a lewd photograph was published on Weiner’s Twitter feed, as a “prank.”
Could that change reflect an attempt to walk back earlier “hacking” accusations?
UPDATE VII: Linked at Piece of Work in Progress — thanks! Meanwhile, reporters keep getting basic facts of the story wrong. In a scandal timeline at The Atlantic, Ujala Seghal asserts that the notorious photo was Tweeted on Thursday. But in fact the photo-Tweet was sent Friday evening, and was quickly reported — at 12:24 a.m. Saturday — by BigGovernment.com.
When reporters flub such basic facts, it does not inspire confidence in their interpretation of those facts.
UPDATE VIII: Notice how blithely dismissive Weiner is — not a hint of outrage — in this CNN interview:
Ho-hum. Somebody hacked my online account. No big deal. Nothing to see here. Move along.
I was hacked, it happens to people. You move on.
This is a prank, uhh, not a terribly creative one, and it’s a distraction…
Look… you’ve got Republicans playing games with the debt limit, a Supreme Court Justice who is refusing to recuse himself despite conflicts of interest, you have a health care act that’s under siege, this… this is a distraction.
- May 30: Ace Is Suffering Weiner Overload
- May 30: The Curious Case of the Weiner-Following (And Weiner-Followed) Teenage Girl
- May 30: @JoanWalsh Blames @AndrewBreitbart and #tcot Bloggers for #WeinerGate Story
- May 29: #WeinerGate Victim Gennette Cordova Issues Statement: ‘I Cannot Answer the Questions That I Do Not Have the Answers To’; Describes Her Reaction
- May 29: MSM Starting to Cover ‘WeinerGate’
- May 28: Weiner’s Wiener? UPDATE: Who Is ‘Gennette Nicole’? UPDATE: Questions Piling Up