The legal team representing disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner submitted a sentencing memorandum late Wednesday night, asking a judge to spare their client from serving time in prison.
The New York Times reports that Weiner’s lawyers asked Judge Denise Cote of Federal District Court in Manhattan to consider their client’s “remarkable progress” over the past year, as the court prepares for his September 25 sentencing hearing on a single count of transferring obscene material to a minor.
In May, Weiner pleaded guilty to the charge, which could carry a prison sentence of up to ten years. He also agreed not to appeal any prison sentence between 21 and 27 months.
The case involves a 15-year-old North Carolina girl with whom Weiner, 53, is accused of conducting a months-long online relationship. The incident, the latest in a long string of sexting scandals involving the former Congressman, became public in September 2016 when the victim and her father gave interviews to the Daily Mail. The story detailed the correspondence with screen shots of explicit text messages, as well as bare-chested photos of Weiner that he allegedly sent to the teenage girl.
After news of the scandal surfaced, federal authorities opened an investigation, and the FBI seized Weiner’s laptop. As part of the investigation, authorities found a large number of emails which belonged to Weiner’s now-estranged wife, top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
In late October, eleven days before the 2016 Presidential election, then-FBI director James Comey sent a letter to Congress claiming that emails pertinent to the closed investigation of Clinton’s use of a personal email server were found “in connection with an unrelated case,” believed to be the investigation into Weiner’s communication with the minor.
In a May New York Times interview, Hillary Clinton confirmed her belief that her eventual loss in the Presidential election was partially due to Comey’s announcement.
According to the New York Times, the memo submitted Wednesday by Weiner’s lawyers Arlo Devlin-Brown and Erin Monju claims that the teenage girl at the center of the case received $30,000 for sharing her story with the Daily Mail.
The document also reportedly noted that the teen told investigators she had hoped “somehow to influence the U.S. presidential election, in addition to securing personal profit.”
The attorneys claimed the young woman has also written a book, which she is “shopping to publishers.”
The teenage victim, whose name has not been released since she is a minor, gave a television interview to Inside Edition detailing why she first reached out to Weiner via Twitter direct message in January 2016.
“I knew that Hillary Clinton would be running for president in the year 2016, and I wanted to see if Anthony was still up to the same antics,” she said.
Weiner’s lawyers argued in the memo that their client’s crime, though “inexcusable,” was also a product of “deep sickness.”
The memo submitted Wednesday by lawyers Arlo Devlin-Brown and Erin Monju reportedly detailed Weiner’s struggle with addictive behavior and his efforts toward recovery.
According to the New York Times, the document confirmed that Weiner was diagnosed with “mixed personality disorder, likely stemming from childhood emotional trauma.”
The ex-lawmaker has reportedly received inpatient treatment and is continuing therapy in New York.
His lawyers argued in the memo that a prison term “would bring Anthony’s indisputably successful treatment for the sickness underlying his crime to an immediate and complete halt.”
The New York Times reported that both Weiner and Abedin wrote separate letters to Judge Cote asking that the judge spare Weiner from a jail sentence.
In his letter, Weiner acknowledged his regret for his “profound” crime.
“I have endangered the wellbeing of a 15 year old girl who reached out to me on the internet. My continued acting out over years crushed the aspirations of my wife and ruined my marriage.”
Weiner cited his concern for his young son, whom he called “the one perfect thing in my life,” who “will forever have to answer questions about the public and private failings of his father.”
Weiner and Abedin also appeared in court together at a divorce hearing earlier in the day on Wednesday.
Feature photo: Associated Press