Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former New York congressman and soon-to-be ex-husband of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for sending obscene material to a 15-year-old high school student in North Carolina.
In May Weiner pleaded guilty in federal court to a single count of transferring obscene material to a minor.
Today’s sentencing marks the end of a six-year saga during which Weiner resigned from Congress, unsuccessfully ran for mayor of New York and separated from Abedin, who filed for divorce the day he was indicted.
Weiner’s crime may have played a role in Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump. When the FBI found Abedin’s email on his computer, then-FBI Director James Comey revisited the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server.
Federal prosecutors had asked a judge to send Weiner to prison for 21 to 27 months, writing in their sentencing submission, “Although the defendant’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.”
Weiner had asked for probation, citing his continual recovery from an illness that cost him his marriage and career.
“A term of imprisonment would bring Anthony’s indisputably successful treatment for the sickness underlying his crime to an immediate and complete halt and separate Anthony from the son who has motivated his recovery,” his defense attorneys wrote.
In an emotional statement in May, Weiner said he “compulsively sought attention from women,” engaging many of them in sexual and non-sexual conversations. He said his behavior started when he entered Congress and it continued through the first six months of 2016.
“These destructive impulses brought great devastation to my family and friends, and destroyed my life’s dream of public service,” he said.
Weiner said he “came to grips for the first time with the depths of my sickness” last fall and entered “intensive treatment.”
“I have a sickness,” Weiner said, “but I do not have an excuse.”