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Thursday
Jun162011

Anthony Weiner Telling Friends He Plans to Resign

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Embattled New York Democrat Congressman Anthony Weiner is telling friends he will resign his seat in Congress, ABC News has learned, bowing to growing demands that he step down because of his sexting scandal.

A source said Weiner called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Wednesday night while they were at a White House picnic to inform them he would resign Thursday.

The married congressman's career began unraveling last month when a now infamous photo of a man's crotch ended up on his public Twitter feed. After days of awkward denials and claims he had been hacked, Weiner admitted not only to sending that picture, but also to exchanging explicit messages and photos with several women online.

"I take full responsibility for my actions," Weiner said at a press conference on June 6. "The picture was of me, and I sent it."

Just two days after the press conference, ABC News learned that Weiner and wife Huma Abedin -- a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- are expecting the couple’s first child.

"I love my wife very much, and we have no intention of splitting up over this," Weiner said at the press conference, days before news surfaced of his wife’s pregnancy.

On Monday, the U.S. House approved Weiner's request for a temporary leave of absence. A day earlier, the Congressman said he was "seeking treatment" for an undisclosed condition at an unknown location outside New York.

His resignation comes amid mounting pressure from leaders of both political parties.

President Obama echoed the sentiments of a number of top Democrats this week when he told NBC’s Today, "If it was me, I would resign."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, joined his counterpart, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., this week in calling for Weiner’s resignation.

Earlier this month, the Congressman admitted to accidentally sending a lewd photo to a woman, Seattle college student Gennette Cordova, who was following him on Twitter.

At his June 6 press conference, Weiner said he had "inappropriate" electronic relationships with six women over three years. One of those women, 26-year-old Meagan Broussard of Texas, provided ABC News with dozens of photos, emails, Facebook messages, and cell phone call logs that she said chronicled a sexually-charged electronic relationship with Weiner that rapidly evolved for more than a month. Weiner confirmed that Broussard was one of the women with whom he sexted.

Since the controversial photo popped up last month, other pictures were exposed, including one of the Congressman posing in a mirror at the members-only House gym, and another purported to be a nude photograph of Weiner's genitalia.

Police in New Castle, Del., investigated Weiner's online communication with a 17-year-old Delaware girl, but the lawyer for the girl's family said there was nothing salacious or inappropriate in the tweets. The girl, whose identity has been confirmed by ABC News but is being withheld due to her age, has commented publicly on Twitter that she had been in direct contact with the congressman. Through a spokesperson, Weiner admitted that he exchanged messages with the girl but added "his communications with this person were neither explicit nor indecent."

Once considered a rising star in the Democratic Party and one of the House Democrats' most popular members, many considered Weiner a leading candidate for mayor of New York City.

A poll earlier this month by local news network New York 1 and Marist College found 56 percent of registered voters in New York's 9th congressional district believed Weiner should stay in office. Thirty-three percent said at the time that Weiner should immediately resign, while 12 percent were undecided.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio