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May 5, 2015

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Las Vegas woman could be focus of Rep. Weiner investigation


AP Photo/Richard Drew

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., addresses a news conference in New York, Monday, June 6, 2011.

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Rep. Anthony Weiner announcement

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., reacts during a news conference in New York,  Monday, June 6, 2011. Launch slideshow »

WASHINGTON - The House’s top Democrat has called for an official ethical inquiry into Rep. Anthony Weiner’s sexually-charged social media affairs, and it appears a Las Vegas woman could be key to determining whether he just broke a moral code, or broke congressional rules.

After more than a week of speculation and dodging questions, Weiner confirmed in a news conference today that he had sent photos of his pelvic area via Twitter to 21-year-old Gennette Coleman in Washington state last month. He also informed reporters that he had been engaging in online affairs, via Facebook, Twitter and text messaging, with five other women for the past three years — and that he had been lying about his involvement to his wife, staff, constituents and the media.

Although it was the photo tweeted to a 21-year-old that set off the scandal, emerging details of the New York Democrat’s exchanges with 40-year-old Lisa Weiss, a blackjack dealer from Las Vegas and a former Democratic campaign volunteer, that are threatening to draw him into a congressional ethics nightmare.

As first reported by entertainment news outlets RadarOnline and Star, Weiner and Weiss began exchanging explicit Facebook messages and text messages Aug. 13.

The subject matter usually appeared to be Weiner’s erections, of which he offered to send her a picture March 16, 2 1/2 months before the scandal broke. The picture was never sent, but she and Weiner exchanged about 220 messages, according to Weiss. In one, she wrote: “the anticipation of ... you is driving me crazy! Come to Vegas.”

Although morally questionable and politically damaging, the exchange of text messages isn’t in itself potentially career-ending (Weiner said today he wouldn’t resign). What is professionally damning for Weiner is that Weiss also says they traded messages during regular work hours, when he was supposedly engaged in official business, and had a 30-minute sexual conversation by telephone on what she alleges was an official congressional phone line.

“I gave him my number, and he called me from his office,” she told RadarOnline and Star. “A few days later, I tried to call him back on that number. But the number wouldn’t connect to his office; instead, there was a recorded message that it was an outgoing U.S. Congress line only.”

She then sent him her number over Facebook, and when Weiner realized he’d missed her call, he sent her the following message: “How did I miss this chance to rock your world by phone? Give me another chance! Stalk me baby. Very hot.”

Click to enlarge photo

Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., poses with his wife, Huma Abedin, in this July 10, 2010, file photo.

At a news conference today, Weiner said he conducted all exchanges with the various women with whom he kept lewd correspondence on an unofficial BlackBerry and his home computer. “I don’t believe that I used any government resources,” he told reporters.

But Weiner also admitted that he’d lied to protect himself from embarrassment and potential political trouble.

“I haven’t told the truth ... and I’ve done things I deeply regret,” he said, adding: “I don’t think I did anything here that violates any law or any oath to my constituents ... This was me doing a dumb thing, doing it repeatedly, and then lying about it.”

But at least one top Democrat doesn’t appear to be taking him solely on his word.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called on the House Ethics Committee today to launch a formal investigation of Weiner’s actions — including whether he used taxpayer-funded resources to conduct his online affairs.

“I am calling for an Ethics Committee investigation to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules occurred,” Pelosi said in a statement shortly after Weiner’s news conference.

Sex scandals are becoming an ongoing sideshow in Congress: John Edwards’ recent indictment by the Justice Department after carrying on an affair with a campaign staffer that resulted in a child; the still-percolating potential investigations against former Nevada Sen. John Ensign over his affair with a campaign staffer who was also his best friend and top congressional aide’s wife.

If an investigation is launched against Weiner, it’s not likely it will rise to the level of those inquiries, absent more compromising information. He isn’t accused of siphoning campaign money to pay for illicit engagements, or using his authority over employees to commence affairs: according to Weiner, he “never had a physical relationship” with any of the six women with whom he traded notes, or ever even met them in person. He also added that “they were all adults to the best of my knowledge,” though “all I know is what they published about themselves in social media.”

But Weiss’ testimony could prove key in any potential investigation, as she is the only participant or witness to Weiner’s conduct who has alleged he engaged in activity that would violate congressional ethics rules.

Click to enlarge photo

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., is pursued by the media as he leaves a news conference in New York, Monday, June 6, 2011.

Weiss provided RadarOnline and Star unfettered access to her Facebook account.

The Sun was unable to reach Weiss today.

Based on her republished notes, she lives in the Las Vegas area. But sources in the Nevada Democratic Party said they had no record of Weiss volunteering for the party.

Weiss told RadarOnline and Star that she’d had no intention of outing Weiner, but that when he didn’t return messages she sent him over the past week since allegations of misconduct broke, she changed her mind.

“He was a dog and didn’t return my messages,” she told RadarOnline. “I discovered that Anthony is a bad man ... and a liar.”

Weiss apparently tried to give her story to MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” a politically focused outlet, Friday via Twitter. But the show either didn’t move or didn’t bite when she tweeted: “@maddow have a juicy political story i wnt to give u! how do i contact ur show?

Weiner is one of the more liberal members of the House Democratic caucus, and Weiss too, is a die-hard Democrat. Her Twitter feed reveals public exchanges with Weiner going back to August 14, the day after the private contact allegedly began, when Weiss told @RepWeiner: "from one proud dem to rock!!" She would later tell Weiner he should run for President.

She also expressed chagrin, the day of President Obama's State of the Union address this January, that Weiner would have to sit next to his Republican colleagues, in the unorthodox every-other-seat mixed arrangement than members of Congress agreed to for the annual event, tweeting: "eeewww!u have sit with one of them?"

But while her Twitter entries reveal Weiss' intense loathing for Republicans, it also reveals an intense lust for liberal public figures and celebrities, in the most sexually-charged sense of the word.

On that list is another well-known politician currently mired in an ethics scandal -- but while the news of Edwards' relationship with his campaign videographer shocked most when it was revealed two years ago, it appeared to excite Weiss. "jon edwards has been a very bad boy...but I would still bang him!" she wrote. She later added: "who cares if john edwards had a fling? love that democrats are always screwing!repubs just screw the middle class!"

There are also several messages directed toward Comedy Central's late-night host Stephen Colbert, ranging from "can i lick you and see if you're okay?"

Those communications appear to go in just one direction, however; at least publicly, Weiss doesn't appear to have heard back from any of her favored political celebrities, other than Weiner.

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  1. Gee whiz reperesentative weiner. Now a constant parade of skanks are going to be revealing that you showed them youre weiner. You should know better than to put pictures of youre junk all over the internet. Shame on you!!! Well, at least you didnt knock up youre bang maid, like Arnold did!!! Or did you? wahahahahahaha... Democratic leadership at it's finest!!!!!!!!

  2. He certainly has a long neck - a great target for the proverbial Guillotine.

  3. @Buck....Like Larry Craig is any better. Soliciting men in a men's room at an airport.

    But I forgot, he's from the 'family values' party, the same party that gave us John 'can't keep it in my pant's' Ensign.

    Such hypocrites.

  4. @Gelsman You seem to forget that Craig was implored to resign by Republicans. Ensign was removed from his leadership posts and he resigned eventually. Democrats usually don't get that kind of party pressure. Clinton didn't resign when he should have. No group of Democratic Senators went to the White House to ask him for the good of the country to resign as Republican Senators did regarding Nixon. Instead they rallied and circled the wagons. Who are the real hypocrites? Dems are.

  5. And people wonder why there should be a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional Term Limits. Make it happen!

  6. Dumbocrats: no morals, no ethics and no shame! Wiener is a weiner and an ideologue of the worst order! I met the jerk here in "Sin City" and told him to his face that I wanted to throw a shoe at the TV every time I saw him on it, the partisan moron! I have an idea: Spitzer & Weiner on CNN billed as the disfunctional duo! They are living proof that power corrupts!

  7. Only a few decades ago we used to wonder what was wrong with the ethics of European leaders as their exploits with mistresses; knowledge of bribes and worse became common knowledge.

    We can no longer hold ourselves up as an example for others. We must be the laughing stock of the world as our elected leaders act like fools and children.

    We the people and the Fourth Estate have to do a more credible job of vetting and selecting leaders with integrity and discipline.

    This is not about sex. It's about any leader of any party that would lie, steal, cheat and dishonestly conduct the business of the office we elected them to. We have to be more honest in not electing dishonest politicians just because they are members of our party, express the views we want to hear or promise what benefits us.

    The integrity of the American people is reflected in who we choose and the products the press champions. Partisan campaigns like those conducted in this newspaper everyday do not benefit anyone in the long run and they hurt the nation as a whole.

    The blame is shared among us all. And, when we find a bad apple we must not protect them, but send them packing, back to where they came from at least and with stiffer punishment along the way when warranted.

    We deserve what we are willing to tolerate in the name of getting what we want. The end justifies the means -- can no longer be our modus operandi.

  8. Weiner pulled a real boner, no doubt...

    But where were all of the "Morality Police" through the whole of the John Ensign debacle?
    Ensign's sins were certainly more egregious than the Big Weiners, but here in "Conservative" Nevada, The Weenie get's more play than our own John Boy.

  9. You all need to stop fronting like this hasn't been going on forever. The only reason we see more of it now is because of the 24 news cycle and social media. If you think our "Glory Days" were free of politicians (republicans and democrats) using their power to get laid, you are a moron.

  10. If any of these political geniuses were as brilliant as they say they are,...if all their education was as good as we should expect of them, why then are members of BOTH parties destroying this country? They are not Senators or respected members of congress,...they are not leaders,...they are professional corrupt imbeciles taking bribes and taking the citizens of this for a ride. We need to limit the power of the elected and take the money out of politics and government or this crap will never end.

    The elected among us are NOT special people regardless of party, they put their pants on the same way as anyone else,...well when they wear pants. We need to start treating them as nobody special and remind them they work for us,...or game over. These people have spun America out of control and we need to grab control of the wheel!